The images, published on Monday, shed light on an environment similar to our solar system when it formed more than 4.5 billion years ago. Observing the Orion Nebula will help astronomers better understand what happened during the first million years of that date Planetary evolution of the Milky Way galaxy, said an astrophysicist at Western Els University Peters in a press release.
“We were blown away by the amazing images of the Orion Nebula,” Peters said. “We started this project in 2017, so we’ve been waiting over five years to get this data.”
“These new observations allow us to better understand how massive stars transform the gas and dust cloud in which they were born,” Peters added.
The cores of stellar nurseries like the Orion Nebula are obscured by large amounts of stardust, making it impossible to study what’s going on inside with instruments like the Hubble Space Telescope, which relies primarily on visible light.
“Observing the Orion Nebula was a challenge because it is so bright for unprecedentedly sensitive Webb devices. But Webb is amazing, as Webb can observe distant and faint galaxies, as well as Jupiter and Orion, two of the brightest sources in the infrared sky,” said research scientist Olivier Bernier. In the French National Center for Scientific Research CNRS in the press release.
New images reveal many structures within the nebula, including Proplyds – a central protostar surrounded by a disk of dust and gas in which planets form.
“We’ve never been able to see the intricately fine details of how interstellar matter forms in these environments, and learn how planetary systems might form in the presence of this harsh radiation. These images reveal the legacy of the interstellar medium in planets,” said Emily Habart, associate professor at the Astrophysical Institute of Spatial. (IAS) in France.
Also evident at the heart of the Orion Nebula is a trapezoidal cluster of young, massive stars that make up the dust and gas cloud with their intense ultraviolet radiation, according to the news release. Understand how this radiation affects the cluster The environment is key to understanding the composition of stellar systems.
“Massive young stars emit large amounts of ultraviolet radiation directly into the original cloud that still surrounds them, and this changes the cloud’s physical shape as well as its chemical composition. How accurate this is, and how it affects further formation of stars and planets is not yet known.”
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