July 18, 2024
1 Solar System Way, Planet Earth, USA
Astronomy

Fly through the Pillars of Creation with NASA's stunning new video

The animation is the result of collaboration between two of NASA's most powerful space telescopes: the Hubble Space Telescope and the James Webb Space Telescope.

The Pillars of Creation, a series of elongated clouds teeming with star formation, have intrigued researchers and captivated the public since the Hubble Space Telescope captured their famous portrait in 1995. In collaboration with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), the star- The clouds that are born appear in a new video that represents them in 3D. The structures that appear in the animation are not the result of an artistic interpretation: they are based on observational data published in a paper led by Anna McLeod, an astrophysicist at Durham University in the United Kingdom.

The visualization highlights the structures of the pillars and notes the differences in detail depending on the telescope that took the image. In the JWST version, the clouds are sharper, with noticeable changes in color and detail. In Hubble's version, the clouds are fuzzy, with splashes of bright yellow ionized gas outlining them. The contrasting views show how collaboration between two space observatories can highlight different details of the pillars and give a complete portrait of a deep sky object.

The Pillars of Creation are 6,500 light years from Earth in the Eagle Nebula (M16).

See in a different light

The views from each telescope look different because of how they view the universe. The Hubble Space Telescope views the universe in visible light, while JWST is sensitive to infrared, allowing it to see objects that glow at colder temperatures. JWST can also see through cold dust and see newborn stars hidden inside. The winds from some of these young stars constantly erode the pillars and carry away dust.

“When we combine observations from NASA's space telescopes at different wavelengths of light, we expand our understanding of the universe,” said Mark Clampin, director of the Astrophysics Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington, in a report from the POT. Press release. “The Pillars of Creation region continues to offer us new knowledge that refines our understanding of how stars form. Now, with this new visualization, everyone can experience this rich and captivating landscape in a new way.” The video was produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, which operates Hubble and JWST, and NASA's Learning Universe.

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