NASA's Webb telescope catches a giant spider out in deep space

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope has captured an incredible image of a giant cosmic spider revealing thousands of never-before-seen young stars.

NASA's Webb telescope catches a giant spider out in deep space
Published Oct 3, 2022 2:32 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Oct 25 2022 8:37 PM CDT
1 minute & 53 seconds read time

NASA's now-famous James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has pointed its high-tech instruments at a cosmic tarantula.

NASA has taken to its blog to reveal an incredible mosaic image of the stellar nursery called 30 Doradus, which is located "only" 161,000 light-years away from Earth in the Large Magellanic Cloud galaxy. Astronomers have nicknamed 30 Doradus the "Tarantula Nebula" for its wispy and dusty filaments, along with its structure and composition of gas and dust.

NASA explains that the Tarantula Nebula is the brightest star-forming region in the Local Group, which the group of galaxies closest to our Milky Way galaxy. Astronomers have used Webb's infrared instruments to observe the Tarantula Nebula and discovered tens of thousands of never-before-seen young stars that were previously obscured from astronomers' view by cosmic dust. The above image showcases a large cluster of massive young blue stars in the center, which are causing the center of the nebula to be hollowed out by their "blistering radiation".

NASA's Webb telescope catches a giant spider out in deep space 01

"One of the reasons the Tarantula Nebula is interesting to astronomers is that the nebula has a similar type of chemical composition as the gigantic star-forming regions observed at the universe's "cosmic noon," when the cosmos was only a few billion years old and star formation was at its peak. Star-forming regions in our Milky Way galaxy are not producing stars at the same furious rate as the Tarantula Nebula, and have a different chemical composition.

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This makes the Tarantula the closest (i.e., easiest to see in detail) example of what was happening in the universe as it reached its brilliant high noon. Webb will provide astronomers the opportunity to compare and contrast observations of star formation in the Tarantula Nebula with the telescope's deep observations of distant galaxies from the actual era of cosmic noon," writes NASA.

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science and space news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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