NASA has released the most enhanced and high-resolution capture of the Tarantula Nebula, which is still surrounded by a labyrinth of mysteries.
The Tarantula Nebula is located on the margin of the Milky Way galaxy, about 158,800 light-years away from our planet. The hypnotic portion of space has long been of significance to researchers, as it hosts true cosmic giants.
A Nebula Packed With Gigantic Stars
A minimum of 40 stars in the nebula have a mass of approximately 50 times that of the Sun, and astronomers have had difficulties understanding the reason behind the accretion of so many cosmic giants in that particular area. The most probable theory is that there is a massive amount of gas and dust in the Tarantula Nebula that the region has become so condensed, enabling the gigantic stars to form.
The most recent image released by NASA has been captured by the Spitzer Space Telescope, which had been assigned the task to observe the nebula ever since it was launched in 2003.
Michael Werner, who has worked as Spitzer’s project scientist since the mission’s outset, and is based at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California: said: “I think we chose the Tarantula Nebula as one of our first targets because we knew it would demonstrate the breadth of Spitzer’s capabilities. That region has a lot of interesting dust structures and a lot of star formation happening, and those are both areas where infrared observatories can see a lot of things that you can’t see in other wavelengths.”
The First Supernova Ever Spotted
The leftover of one of the most massive star supernovas in the recorded history is located on the margins of the Tarantula Nebula.
NASA explained: “Dubbed 1987A because it was the first supernova spotted in 1987, the exploded star burned with the power of 100 million Suns for months. The shockwave from that event continues to move outward into space, encountering material ejected from the star during its dramatic death. When the shockwave collides with dust, the dust heats up and begins to radiate in infrared light. In 2006, Spitzer observations saw that light and determined that the dust is largely composed of silicates, a key ingredient in the formation of rocky planets in our solar system.”
“In 2019, scientists used Spitzer to study 1987A to monitor the changing brightness of the expanding shockwave and debris to learn more about how these explosions change their surrounding environment.”
A Powerful Telescope to Peer Into the Depths of the Universe
The renowned Spitzer Space Telescope, together with the Hubble Space Telescope, is set to be deactivated in the following year, as the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is set to replace it. The JWST is so developed that it will reach the deepest parts of the cosmic and will observe the earliest moments of the Universe.
JWST, which is dubbed after NASA’s second administrator James Webb, is able to analyze thousands of planets in order to find alien life, even though those planets are located thousands of light-years in the deep cosmos.
According to NASA, the JWST is incredibly powerful as it will e able to see about 0.3 billion years after the Big Bang to the point when visible light started to take shape. The telescope will be also be placed at a farther distance in space than the Hubble Space Telescope. The latter is situated in Earth‘s orbit, about 354,181 miles (570,000 kilometers) from our planet.
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