JWST Gazed Into The Heart of The Orion Nebula, And The View Is Breathtaking.

 The latest JWST image of the heart of the Orion Nebula. (NASA, ESA, CSA, PDRs4All ERS Team, S. Fuenmayor & O. Berné)

The Orion nebula sits amidst the constellation of Orion, between the stars, and is so large, close, and shining it can be seen with the naked eye: a huge cloud complex giving birth to and nurturing baby stars.

Now, the most powerful space telescope ever built has given us a stunning new look into the heart of the Orion nebula. 

The new breathtaking images obtained by the James Webb Space Telescope's NIRCam are, astronomers say, the most detailed and sharpest we've viewed yet. Analysis is ongoing, but we're looking for to learn something new and fascinating about this incredible part of the galaxy. 

Star formation is a very bubbling, dusty process. Baby stars are born from dense clumps in clouds of dust and gas that collapse under gravity and start to collect material from the cloud around them, creating a disk as the star spins. 

Scientists have, therefore, been very delighted to use the telescope to study star formation and learn new details about the process that have heretofore been hard to see. 

The brightest star you sight in the image is called θ2 Orionis A, and it's one member of a multiple-star system next to the Trapezium Cluster, which is well known as θ1 Orionis.


Although it looks very bright in the JWST image, θ2 Orionis A can only be sight by the naked eye from Earth in regions not significantly affected by light pollution. Nevertheless, it's very hot, over 100,000 times more brighter than the Sun. 

Its light is bouncing off dust around it, forming a pretty red glow. 

Inside its cocoon, young stars with a disk of dust and gas in which planets form are seen in the nebula. Small cavities dug by new stars being blown by the extreme radiation and stellar winds of newborn stars are also clearly visible. 

We'll be waiting eagerly on those discoveries. You can download the full-size images from the website of the Early Release Science program Photodissociation Regions for All. 

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