The James Webb captures iconic 'Pillars of Creation'

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Pillars of creation by James Webb Telescope captured at 2022

NASA announced on Wednesday that the James Webb Space Telescope has caught a picture of the famous "Pillars of Creation," gigantic formations of gas and dust packed with stars.

The initial image captured by the telescope shows massive gold, copper, and brown columns standing in the middle of the universe, illuminated by the light of thousands of stars.

Red, lava-like areas may be seen at the tips of some pillars. NASA noted in a statement, "These are ejections from stars that are still developing," meaning the stars are just a few hundred thousand years old.

Moreover, the US space agency NASA said that "young stars occasionally blast out supersonic jets that clash with clouds of material," such as these "thick pillars."

The "Pillars of Creation" can be found in the Eagle Nebula, which is 6,500 light-years away from Earth in our Milky Way galaxy.

The Hubble Space Telescope took images of the pillars in 1995 and again in 2014, bringing them to widespread attention in each of those years.

But the newer Webb telescope, which was just sent into orbit a little over a year ago, can see through the pillars' obscuring dust and show countless new stars developing behind them, all owing to its infrared capabilities.

Klaus Pontoppidan, the scientific program manager at the Space Telescope Science Institute, stated on Wednesday through Twitter, "By popular demand, we had to perform the Pillars of Creation" with Webb.

Webb is managed by STScI out of Baltimore, Maryland. “There are simply so many stars!” For good measure, Pontoppidan chimed in.

Amber Straughn, a NASA scientist, said it best when she tweeted, "The cosmos is magnificent!"

The picture was captured by Webb's main imager NIRCam, which is sensitive to near-infrared wavelengths that are not visible to the human eye and covers a region of roughly eight light years.

The image's hues have been "translated" into the visible spectrum.

According to NASA, the new picture "will help researchers overhaul their models of star formation by finding significantly more exact counts of freshly created stars, coupled with the amounts of gas and dust in the area."

Webb, the most powerful space telescope ever constructed, has been operational since July, and it has already released a plethora of unparalleled data. It is anticipated that this would usher in a new age of scientific discovery.

One of the key purposes for the $10-billion telescope is to examine the life cycle of stars. Exoplanets, or planets that exist in other solar systems, are also a major topic of study.

NASA webpage on Pillars of Creation -

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