WhatsApp Logo Subscribe
For News Alert

News

Webb telescope takes stunning images of Horsehead Nebula's 'mane'

By AFP

April 30, 2024 02:44 PM


Representational image

Twitter Share Facebook Share WhatsApp Share

NASA's James Webb telescope has captured the most detailed infrared images ever taken of the Horsehead Nebula, one of the most majestic and recognizable objects in the night sky, the space agency said Monday.

The new observations show the top of the "horse's mane," revealing for the first time the small scale structures on the edge of the giant cloud of dust and gas.

Located roughly 1,300 light years away in the constellation Orion ("The Hunter"), the iconic silhouette of a horse's head and neck rises from what look like churning waves of interstellar foam.

Webb, the most powerful space observatory ever built, is able to detect infrared light at unprecedented resolutions, revealing objects that cannot be seen using the visible spectrum in optical telescopes.

"An international team of astronomers has revealed for the first time the small-scale structures of the illuminated edge of the Horsehead," a NASA statement said.

As ultraviolet light evaporates the dust cloud, particles are swept away by the outflow of heated gas -- a process Webb has now shown in action.

The observations have also given astronomers new insights into how dust blocks and emits light, and a better idea of the nebula's multidimensional shape.

The work was the result of an study led by Karl Misselt of the University of Arizona, and published Monday in Astronomy & Astrophysics.

The Horsehead Nebula has fascinated space enthusiasts since its discovery in 1888 by the renowned Scottish astronomer Williamina Fleming.

While it appears shadowy in optical light, the nebula comes to life when viewed through infrared wavelengths, taking on transparent and ethereal hues.

This delicate pillar of hydrogen gas infused with dust is being steadily worn away by the radiation of a nearby star. Astronomers estimate the Horsehead will disappear in another five million years.


AFP


Most Read

  1. Two senior lawyers shot dead by Elite Force jawan in Attock court Two senior lawyers shot dead by Elite Force jawan in Attock court
  2. Bajwa-Khan bond 2.0: After Urvashi Rautela, Sonam Bajwa becomes Naseem Shah’s fan Bajwa-Khan bond 2.0: After Urvashi Rautela, Sonam Bajwa becomes Naseem Shah’s fan
  3. Sindh CM unveils ambitious Rs3.056 trillion budget for FY 2024-25 Sindh CM unveils ambitious Rs3.056 trillion budget for FY 2024-25
  4. PML-N MNA flees after coming face to face with Imran Khan PML-N MNA flees after coming face to face with Imran Khan
  5. LUMS secures third position at United Asians Debating Championship LUMS secures third position at United Asians Debating Championship
  6. Police arrest principal and MS Sahiwal hospital after children’s death in blaze Police arrest principal and MS Sahiwal hospital after children’s death in blaze

Opinion

  1. An Unmissable Opportunity: The Time for Modi and Islamabad leadership to Resume Bilateral Dialogue is Now!
    An Unmissable Opportunity: The Time for Modi and Islamabad leadership to Resume Bilateral Dialogue is Now!

    By Sudheendra Kulkarni

  2. Premier Shehbaz and Chinese model
    Premier Shehbaz and Chinese model

    By Naveed Aman Khan

  3. Modi's myth broken, yet in power
    Modi's myth broken, yet in power

    By Naveed Aman Khan

  4. Xi, Shehbaz and CPEC phase - 2
    Xi, Shehbaz and CPEC phase - 2

    By Naveed Aman Khan

  5. Pakistan's UNSC Triumph: A New Era
    Pakistan's UNSC Triumph: A New Era

    By Dr Asif Channer

  6. Shehbaz, Deng, Xi and transformation
    Shehbaz, Deng, Xi and transformation

    By Naveed Aman Khan