See those wavy lines that look like lava at the edges of the pillars? These are baby stars that are forming within the gas & dust.Associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate on a new image of the “Pillars of Creation” from the James Webb Space Telescope. The image was released by NASA on Wednesday.
Why It Matters: The latest image from the James Webb Space Telescope – the biggest telescope ever launched into space – reveals a "new view" of the "Pillars of Creation," a site where stars are born. NASA's Hubble Telescope first imaged this site in 1995, though the new image includes greater detail and reveals more bright red, newly formed stars. This new image will help researchers identify "more precise star populations, along with the quantities of gas and dust in the region," in order to "build a clearer understanding of how stars form and burst out of these clouds over millions of years" (NASA).
- Stars form in clouds of dust and gas, when dense regions (called "knots") collapse under their own weight and rise in temperature, eventually becoming hot enough to form a star. The young stars in the new image released by NASA are estimated to be "only a few hundred thousand years old."
NASA's giant telescope captures clearer view of 'Pillars of Creation' (The Washington Post)
by Jenna Lee,