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  • Writer's pictureayush devak

Webb Space Telescope Reveals Richest and Closest Star Nursery in the Solar System....

The inner region of the Orion Nebula

James Webb Space Telescope’s first images of the Orion Nebula, the richest and closest star nursery in the solar system, have just been revealed by an international team of astronomers including University of Michigan (U-M) researchers.

Located in the constellation of Orion, roughly 1,350 light-yearsaway from Earth, the Orion Nebula is an area rich in matter where many stars are formed. Its environment is thought to be similar to the environment in which our solar system was born more than 4.5 billion yearsago. Therefore, studying the Orion Nebula allows scientists to understand the conditions in which our solar system formed.

Orion Baris a prototype region for processes that occur throughout our galaxy and the universe as stars continually irradiate nearby material,” said Felipe Alarcon. He is a U-M graduate student and member of the international group. “This amazing picture will be a template image.”

The James Webb Space Telescope

Large amounts of dust obscure the heart of star nurseries, such as the Orion Nebula. This makes them impossible to observe in visible light with telescopes such as the Hubble Space Telescope. However, the James Webb Space Telescope observes the infrared light of the cosmos, which can penetrate these layers of dust.

Many spectacular structures are revealed in the image, down to scales of about 40 astronomical units, or about the size of our solar system. These structures include a number of dense filaments of matter, which could launch the birth of a new generation of stars. Forming stellar systems are also revealed in the image. These consist of a central proto-starsurrounded by a disc of dust and gas inside which planets form.

The Orion Nebula is also home to a cluster of massive young stars, called the Trapezium Cluster, emitting intense ultraviolet radiation, capable of shaping clouds of dust and gas. Understanding how this phenomenon influences the environment is a key question for studying the formation of star systems like our own solar system.


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