NASA’s most eagle-eyed observatory has done it again, however. Thehas returned the famous “Creation Column” image in infrared light that is the sharpest and most detailed image of the spectacular star-forming region ever recorded.
The ethereal stage encompasses transparent columns of cold interstellar vapor and dust punctuated by dots of light. Most of these are stars, and red fireballs near the edges of newly formed star columns, according to NASA.
Don’t confuse these with the large red, magma-like areas along the inside perimeter of a few columns. This is caused by the disturbance of the stars, which still form and pierce supersonic jets of material into space, where they collide with other matter. Finally, this is what cosmic chaos looks like.
Fortunately, these epic explosions and cosmological collisions are far away, about 6,500 light-years from Earth.
This area of the university first gained fame in 1995 when it was photographed by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. A follow-up expedition was conducted by Hubble in 2014, and many other observatories have also trained their lenses on the area that lies within the Eagle Nebula.
A side-by-side comparison of the new image and Hubble’s cosmic phenomenon shows how Webb’s infrared instrument can see through the curtains of dust and gas that span the scene.
NASA and astronomers around the world will look at images like these and more data from Webb to better understand the process of star formation.
For the rest of us, it’s some appealing eye candy at Halloween time.
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