James Webb Prepares to Explore a Stellar Nursery From the Orion Nebula

James Webb Prepares to Explore a Stellar Nursery From the Orion Nebula

It’s only a matter of a few days until the planet’s most powerful space telescope, meaning James Webb (JWST), will reveal its first full-color images of the Universe. Among its objectives, JWST will also be looking at a region from the Orion Nebula where it’s teeming with newborn stars, meaning the Trapezium Cluster, according to space.com.

The stellar nursery is located relatively close to us in terms of astronomical scaling: “only” 1,350 light-years away. It features about 1,000 stars that are young (about one million years old) and very close to one another. 

James Webb will add a lot of attention to the Trapezium Cluster, where’s there also a high amount of dust and gas. An official statement says, as quoted by space.com:

Because the Orion Nebula is home to many, many young stars, there are many jets and outflows in the region, both large and small,

The team will use Webb to measure the fine structures in these outflows and determine their speeds, as well as assess their cumulative feedback on the surrounding star-forming clouds.

Surprisingly or not, astronomers still have a lot to learn about planet formation even today. Both James Webb and its older sibling, the Hubble Space Telescope, will somehow be involved in untangling new mysteries. Check out what another official statement reveals, as the same source quotes:

By comparing [Webb images] with images in the visible light made with the Hubble Space Telescope, the team will learn about the dust’s composition, which will help them understand the very earliest phases of planet formation.

With James Webb’s new explorations, scientists also hope to understand more about the development of stars in their early phases.

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope will reveal its first operational photos to the world on July 12.



Cristian Antonescu

Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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