James Webb’s stunning telescope image of the iconic Pillars of Creation

The “pillars of creation” made iconic and famous by Hubble are revealed in greater depth in this new image taken by the James Webb Space Telescope. What exactly do we see in these structures inside the Great Eagle Nebula? What is it about?

Sooner or laterESAESA and NASANASA were going to delight us with an image of the famous “pillars of creation” taken by the new flagship of the James-Webb space telescopes. It was inevitable! These huge pillars gasgas have been photographed by Hubble several times (in 1995 and 2014, see article below) during its long career that began in 1990. This is one of the “iconic” images of the famous space telescope. She shows us the region where starsstars relatively close to us, in the spiral arm of the river Milky WayMilky Way said about Sagittarius about 6500 years ago light yearslight years.

By eyeseyes JWST and its cameras nearby infra-redinfra-red Nircam, great detail shines through in these structures that house a lot cocoonscocoons stars We are also dazzled and stunned by the multitude of stars around and in the background nebulanebulavisible in this direction from constellationconstellation Snake. In addition, these “pillars of creation” are an integral part of the huge cloudcloud called the Eagle Nebula or M16M16 (Messier 16). What a beautiful nebula astronomersastronomers amateurs like to contemplate and photograph all summer long and which could also be called the Eagle’s Nest because there are countless stars broodbrood. Many are still in the early stages of their formation, while others are slightly older (a few hundred thousand years) and are warmer and more luminous. We can see them pointing nosenose at the ends turgorturgor which bristle these reliefs.

“Pillars of Creation” which are also a zone of destruction!

Astronomers call them “pillars of creation” because of the stars that are born in the folds of this important concentration of gas and cold dust, but one can also see “pillars of destruction”, or more precisely “pillars in the process of destruction”. These masses casecase are really washed away by jets ultravioletultraviolet powerful massive stars present in the nest. What we see is what remains and still resists stormstorm radiation from these stars, which were also born there, but surround them. As a result, the “pillars” break or crumble, like rocks under pressure waveswaves.

Unlike Hubble, which looks in the visible and infrared, the James Webb Telescope has a penetrating infrared view that allows it to see through, or nearly through, these dense masses of matter. They become translucent and open their own myriadsmyriads hidden treasures A real delight for researchers who, by studying these clouds, hope to better understand the birth and evolution of stars.

Orion Nebula for the first time in the eyes of the James Webb telescope

James-Webb image is available for download in high versions permissionpermission for printing (163 MB) or for viewing on the screen (152 MB). We recommend that you look inside and get lost in all its folds and reliefs.


Art Xavier DemirsmannXavier Demirsmann published on January 11, 2015

in Hubble Space TelescopeHubble Space Telescope which will celebrate its 25th anniversary next April orbitorbit Terrestrial revisited one of the most popular portraits of his career: “pillars of creation.” Built inside the Eagle Nebula (M16), they are now imaged in the visible and near-infrared by the WFC3 camera installed in 2009. These large masses of gas and dust, where the young stars are, are actually true pillars resistanceresistance suffers from ultraviolet radiation from surrounding massive stars.

Among the countless images produced by the Hubble Space Telescope, one of the most popular is undoubtedly the one with which we discovered the interior of the Eagle Nebula (Messier 16) in 1995. There’s no way your eyes won’t catch her on the corner of a bookstore, on TV, on a magazine cover, in a movie or documentary, on a poster, poster, packaging, or even on a t-shirt… Very photogenic, she’s indeed been photographed several times. traveled the world and is an undeniable witness space cosmetics.

“Pillars of Destruction”

The picture, which has been dubbed the “pillars of creation” since its publication, invites us into the mystery of a cloud of gas and dust pushed by the powerful radiation of massive stars. The scene, which takes place about 6,500 light-years from Earth, instead shows “pillars of destruction,” as noted by researchers involved in this new Hubble composite image released Jan. 5.

Almost twenty years after the first visit, this new version allows us to discover in greater detail than ever before these symbolic structures in the heart of the Eagle Nebula, which extends in the Milky Way towards the constellation Serpent (Cauda snakes). In the transition period, “they (structures) are falling apart before our eyes” comments Paul Scowen, who made the 1995 observations with his former Arizona State University colleague Jeff Hester. “We photograph them at a unique and brief moment of their development. ยป

erosion scene

Insightful Vision of the WFC3 Camera (Wide-angle camera 3), installed in 2009 on a space telescope, allows us to discover wavelengthswavelengths in the visible and near-infrared, the boiling that prevails in this environment also reveals the young stars buried in these great gas pillars, fortresses or dungeons that are now ghosts, damaged and torpedoed by their nearby elders. These turbulent massive stars, mostly out of focus, were born only a few tens of millions of years ago and are still curling up in their nest. They constantly storm from all sides and attack their bosom. Tighter, the tops of the three pillars continue to resist their blinding blast as best they can. ” [Ils] are ionized, a process by which electronselectrons break away from atoms and are heated by the radiation of these stars– describes Scowen and then eaten away by the mighty the windsthe winds stellar arrays of charged particles that literally “carcherize” the tops of these pillars”.

A situation and environment that can be compared to those that certainly existed elsewhere, in our youth sunsun and all other stars born around it more than 4.5 billion years ago. As evidenced by some inclusions rich in aluminum and calcium (Calcium, aluminum-rich inclusions), found, for example, in the Allende meteorite, a supernovasupernova preceded its genesis. This type of event is the prerogative of swarms of massive stars like the one that’s breaking apart now placentaplacenta the Eagle Nebula. That’s why this scene playing out near us reflects the conditions that once prevailed in the pre-solar nebula.

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