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Images by the James Webb Space Telescope


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English: The James Webb Space Telescope reveals details of the structure and composition of the Tarantula Nebula, as well as dozens of background galaxies.

Stellar nursery 30 Doradus gets its nickname of the Tarantula Nebula from its long, dusty filaments. Located in the Large Magellanic Cloud galaxy, it’s the largest and brightest star-forming region near our own galaxy, plus home to the hottest, most massive stars known.

The center of this image, taken by Webb’s Near-Infrared Camera instrument (NIRCam), has been hollowed out by the radiation from young, massive stars (seen in sparkling pale blue). Only the densest surrounding areas of the nebula resist erosion, forming the pillars that appear to point back towards the cluster of stars in the center. The pillars are home to still-forming stars, which will eventually leave their dusty cocoons and help shape the nebula.

Fluffy tan-colored nebula clouds, with rust-colored highlights, surround a black central area. Within that area, the focal point of the image is one large yellow star with eight long thin points. To the right of this star is a bright star cluster in an oval shape. The stars within the cluster look like tiny pale blue sparkles. The cluster is more densely packed at its core and scatters outward. Towards the bottom of the image, multiple arms appear to spiral out of a cloudy tan knob, resembling a spider or a squid structure. Other blue and yellow eight-pointed stars, as well as distant galaxies, are dotted throughout the image.
Author NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, Webb ERO Production Team
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