James Webb space Telescope Pillars of Creation

From Astronomy Now: Webb captures stunning new view of ‘Pillars of Creation’

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The James Webb Space Telescope has captured a spectacular new view of the “Pillars of Creation” at the heart of the Eagle Nebula, an infrared look at the towering columns of gas and dust in a vast stellar nursery that became one of the Hubble Space Telescope’s most iconic photos. Webb’s view reveals thousands of previously unseen stars in the translucent interstellar medium surrounding the pillars and a multitude of delicate swirls and eddies sculpted in the columns themselves by embedded protostars.

The “Pillars of Creation” at the heart of the Eagle Nebula, more familiarly known as M-16. Image: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI; J. DePasquale, A. Koekemoer, A. Pagan (STScI)

Hubble’s view of the pillars, captured in 1995, amazed astronomers and the public alike, an image that became an iconic symbol of the repaired space telescope’s astronomical prowess. As stunning as Hubble’s image was, Webb’s infrared capability reveals a much more detailed tapestry. Here’s a side-by-side view showing off Webb’s ability to peer inside the pillars and the interstellar medium:

A comparison showing Hubble’s view of the “Pillars of Creation” in mostly visible light and Webb’s infrared view. Image: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI; J. DePasquale, A. Koekemoer, A. Pagan (STScI)

NASA and the European Space Agency provided a “fly through” of the Webb image, giving viewers a zoomed-in view of the pillars’ intricate structure:

Astronomy Now

2 Replies to “From Astronomy Now: Webb captures stunning new view of ‘Pillars of Creation’

  1. 1
    Seversky says:

    They are awe-inspiring images although we have to remember they are “colorized” to make them visually striking for us. JWST takes images in the infrared part of the EM spectrum which we cannot see and have to be converted into a visible light image.

  2. 2
    chuckdarwin says:

    Interesting that one of the credits for the Webb pictures is “A. Pagan”

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