The image captures bright red newborn stars within a billowing cloud of gas and dust at the famous stellar birthplace known as the Pillars of Creation.
Scarlet protostars, estimated to be a few hundred thousand years old, form when knots in the cloud gain enough mass to collapse under their own gravity and slowly rise in temperature, according to a joint statement from the coalition behind the Webb Telescope, which includes NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency.
The scene is captured by the Webb Telescope’s near-infrared camera, which provides the ability to detect light from the first stars and galaxies. The telescope, which launched last December, has been delivering images to the public since July.
The statement said that the image in this case depicts a location within the Eagle Nebula, which is 6,500 light-years away.
The statement added that the image of the “Pillars of Creation” will help researchers improve their understanding of star formation by determining the most accurate star clusters as well as the amount of gas and dust in the region.
The Pillars of Creation were first captured by the Hubble Space Telescope in 1995. Since then, an increasingly advanced group of telescopes have trained on the star-studded site.
The joint statement said the Webb telescope is the largest and most powerful telescope ever launched into space.
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