Stunning spider in space! NASA James Webb Space Telescope captures RARE cosmic tarantula Nebula

The NASA James Webb Space Telescope has captured a stunning image of a Nebula that looks like the dangerous tarantula spider waiting to pounce on its victim.

| Updated on: Sep 08 2022, 20:08 IST
NASA: Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter makes astonishing discovery
1/6 The lunar pits found by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter have mild temperatures, drastically different from the extreme conditions on the surface of the Moon. The temperatures in these caves are nearly 17 degree Celsius almost at all times. (NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University)
2/6 NASA Moon recently tweeted, "Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter images of pits indicate that the Moon has caves. Could they become astronaut habitats? Scientists have discovered that parts of the pits are always about 63°F (17°C), differing from extreme temperatures at the Moon's surface". (NASA)
3/6 The surface temperatures on the Moon can go from an extremely high 127 degrees Celsius and as low as -173 degrees Celsius. "The pits, and caves to which they may lead, would make thermally stable sites for lunar exploration compared to areas at the Moon's surface, which heat up to 260 F (about 127 C) during the day and cool to minus 280 F (about minus 173 C) at night,” NASA Moon tweeted further. (NASA)
4/6 First discovered in 2009, these lunar pits could potentially be used as location for a first Moon Base. Not only are the temperatures moderate, but these pits could also provide protection against cosmic rays, solar radiation and micrometeorites, according to NASA. (AP)
5/6 LRO Project Scientist Noah Petro of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center said, “Lunar pits are a fascinating feature on the lunar surface. Knowing that they create a stable thermal environment helps us paint a picture of these unique lunar features and the prospect of one day exploring them.” (NASA)
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6/6 The particular pit used to analyze the thermal properties by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter was in an area of the Moon known as the Mare Tranquillitatis. It is 100-meters deep and as wide as a football field. According to scientists, the overhang of the pit is responsible for creating shadows on the Moon and maintaining a temperature of nearly 17 degrees Celsius at all times. (NASA)
Nebula Tarantula
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Just check this NASA James Webb Space Telescope image of the Tarantula Nebula (NASA)

The NASA James Webb Space Telescope has again taken a stunning image. The world's most powerful space telescope has been working overtime to scale the depths of the universe and capture never-seen-before images for us. And so far, it has not disappointed. From capturing the ‘mountains' and ‘valleys' of Carina Nebula to showcasing a phantom galaxy millions of lightyears away, scientists have been blown away by the visuals of the uncharted space territory. And to add to its list of accolades, the James Webb telescope has now captured an image of a Nebula which looks like a tarantula spider on the prowl, hunting for its next victim. The name tarantula is derived from the fact that the nebula looks a lot like the hairy legs of a tarantula spider.

Posting the image on its blog site, NASA noted, “In this mosaic image stretching 340 light-years across, Webb's Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam) displays the Tarantula Nebula star-forming region in a new light, including tens of thousands of never-before-seen young stars that were previously shrouded in cosmic dust. The most active region appears to sparkle with massive young stars, appearing pale blue”. While the image looks amazing, this region itself is important from a cosmic perspective.

NASA James Webb Space Telescope captures Tarantula Nebula

The cosmic region is officially called 30 Doradus. It is sort of a space nursery where thousands upon thousands of infant stars are forming. These stars have previously never been seen before because of the distance from the Earth and because the young age makes them less bright than mature stars. It has been named Tarantula Nebula due to its appearance. It is located around 161,000 lightyears away in the Large Magellanic Cloud galaxy.

“Tarantula Nebula is the largest and brightest star-forming region in the Local Group, the galaxies nearest our Milky Way,” NASA noted in the blog. The Local Group is also home to the hottest and most massive stars known to us.

Explaining the reason for the Webb Space Telescope to observe the region, NASA noted, “One of the reasons the Tarantula Nebula is interesting to astronomers is that the nebula has a similar type of chemical composition as the gigantic star-forming regions observed at the universe's “cosmic noon,” when the cosmos was only a few billion years old and star formation was at its peak. Star-forming regions in our Milky Way galaxy are not producing stars at the same furious rate as the Tarantula Nebula, and have a different chemical composition. This makes the Tarantula the closest (i.e., easiest to see in detail) example of what was happening in the universe as it reached its brilliant high noon. Webb will provide astronomers the opportunity to compare and contrast observations of star formation in the Tarantula Nebula with the telescope's deep observations of distant galaxies from the actual era of cosmic noon”.

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First Published Date: 08 Sep, 20:08 IST