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New Webb Telescope captures a 'cosmic tarantula' 161,000 light-years away

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Posted at 9:47 AM, Sep 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-07 12:55:17-04

NASA’s Webb Telescope captured a “cosmic tarantula." The new telescope imaged 30 Doradus, otherwise known as the Tarantula Nebula.

The nebula is located in the Large Magellanic Cloud galaxy.

The nebula got its name for its appearance of a tarantula’s home—a burrow lined with its own spun silk. The telescope captured thousands of never-seen-before young stars.

Astronomers said the galaxy contains some of the highest and brightest stars ever recorded.

"The hot stars fade, and the cooler gas and dust glow. Within the stellar nursery clouds, points of light indicate embedded protostars, still gaining mass," the Space Telescope Science Institute said. "While shorter wavelengths of light are absorbed or scattered by dust grains in the nebula, and therefore never reach Webb to be detected, longer mid-infrared wavelengths penetrate that dust, ultimately revealing a previously unseen cosmic environment."

The galaxy is relatively close to us at 161,000 light-years away.

The Webb Telescope will essentially replace the Hubble telescope as NASA’s primary view into deep space.