Mid-infrared light is particularly good for closely observing gas and dust.
Our notion of "surprise" when it comes to astronomy images has slightly changed now that we have a strong lens focused on the deepest areas of the universe. When NASA's James Webb Space Telescope discovers yet another magnificent image of the cosmos, it is actually no longer surprising. Now we all are aware that the brilliant machine will deliver nothing less.
Today, the Webb telescope captured an eerie, extremely dusty view of the Pillars of Creation in mid-infrared light. The expansive Eagle Nebula, which is 6,500 light-years away, is the location of The Pillars of Creation.
According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), these pillars, flush with gas and dust, enshroud stars that are slowly forming over many millennia. NASA's James Webb Space Telescope has snapped this eerie, extremely dusty view of the Pillars of Creation in mid-infrared light – showing us a new view of a familiar landscape.
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"Thousands of stars that exist in this region seem to disappear since stars typically do not emit much mid-infrared light, and seemingly endless layers of gas and dust become the centerpiece. The detection of dust by Webb's Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) is extremely important because dust is a major ingredient for star formation," the space agency further stated.
The Hubble Space Telescope of NASA initially recorded this sight in 1995, and it did so again in 2014. However, other observatories, including NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, have also closely examined the Pillars of Creation.