The spectacular Orion Nebula as seen by the James Webb Telescope

About 1,350 light years from us, the orion nebula is a celestial object which can however be visible to the naked eye from the northern hemisphere and under favorable conditions without light pollution. But with the télescope spatial James Webbit’s a great show.

Thanks to the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), spectacular images of the Orion Nebula located in the eponymous constellation have been obtained by a team of scientists, including French and Canadian scientists.

The images are much more detailed than what the Hubble Space Telescope allowed. This is due to the JWST’s ability to observe in the infrared light of the cosmos, and thus to bypass layers of dust.

A nearby nursery of stars

The heart of star nurseries, such as the Orion Nebula, is obscured by large amounts of dust. Impossible to observe in visible light “, can we read in a joint press release. It was published by the CNRS and the University of Paris-Saclay.

The Orion Nebula is presented as ” the richest and closest star nursery in the Solar System. ” Cet environment would be similar to that which saw the birth of our solar system more than 4.5 billion years ago. Hence the interest of studying it as the team attaches PDRs4All (Photodissociation Regions for All), and more generally in order to enrich knowledge on the formation of stellar and planetary systems.

Lots of work ahead

We are stunned by the breathtaking images of the Orion Nebula. We started this project in 2017. […] These new observations allow us to better understand how massive stars transform the cloud of gas and dust in which they were born “, said astrophysicist Els Peeters of the University of Western Ontario (Canada).


Els Peeters points out that young massive stars emit large amounts of ultraviolet radiation into the cloud that still surrounds them, changing their shape and chemical composition. ” It’s not yet known exactly how this works, or how it affects the subsequent formation of stars and planets.

Source: GNT – actualités by

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