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Nebula Tarantula I - JWST
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Thousands of young stars are revealed for the first time by NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope in a stellar nursery called 30 Doradus. Nicknamed the Tarantula Nebula for its dusty filaments, the nebula has long been a common target for astronomers interested in star formation. In addition, Webb reveals distant background galaxies, as well as highly detailed structures of gas and dust.
161,000 light-years away in the Large Magellanic Cloud galaxy, the Tarantula Nebula is home to the hottest, most massive stars known. The region resembles a tarantula’s home, lined with its silky web. The nebula’s cavity centered in the NIRCam image has been hollowed out by blistering radiation from a cluster of massive young stars, which sparkle pale blue in the image. Only the densest surrounding areas of the nebula resist erosion by these stars’ powerful stellar winds, forming pillars that appear to point back toward the cluster. These pillars contain forming protostars, which will eventually emerge from their dusty cocoons and take their turn shaping the nebula.
Credits: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, Webb ERO Production Team