A stellar nursery nicknamed the Tarantula Nebula has been captured in crisp detail by NASA's Webb telescope, revealing hitherto unseen features that deepen scientific understanding, the agency said Tuesday.
Officially known as 30 Doradus, the region of space is characterized by its dusty filaments that resemble the legs of a hairy spider, and has long been a favorite for astronomers interested in star formation.
In this mosaic image stretching 340 light-years across, Webb’s Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam) displays the Tarantula Nebula star-forming region in a new light, including tens of thousands of never-before-seen young stars that were previously shrouded in cosmic dust.
The most active region appears to sparkle with massive young stars, appearing pale blue. Scattered among them are still-embedded stars, appearing red, yet to emerge from the dusty cocoon of the nebula.
NIRCam is able to detect these dust-enshrouded stars thanks to its unprecedented resolution at near-infrared wavelengths.