New Images of Orion Nebula Revealed by James Webb Space Telescope
02/10/2023 – The NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope has captured stunning new images of the Orion Nebula, which have been included in ESA’s ESASky application. ESASky provides a user-friendly interface for visualizing and downloading astronomical data.
The Orion Nebula, also known as Messier 42, is one of the brightest nebulae in the night sky and is located south of Orion’s belt. At its core is the young Trapezium Cluster of stars, which illuminate the surrounding gas and dust with their intense ultraviolet radiation fields. Behind the nebula, protostars continue to form in the OMC-1 molecular cloud.
The Orion Nebula is a hotspot for astronomers studying the formation and early evolution of stars. It contains a wide range of phenomena and objects, including outflows and planet-forming disks around young stars, embedded protostars, brown dwarfs, free-floating planetary mass objects, and photodissociation regions where radiation from massive stars influences the chemistry of the gas.
The new images of the Orion Nebula were taken with Webb’s near-infrared camera, NIRCam, and have been made into two mosaics—one from the short-wavelength channel and one from the long-wavelength channel. These mosaics, featuring high resolution and large areas, have been incorporated into ESASky to allow easy exploration of the interesting astronomical sources they contain. The short-wavelength mosaic reveals beautiful details in discs and outflows, while the long-wavelength mosaic showcases the intricate network of dust and organic compounds known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.
“We encourage you to explore these images to see what hidden treasures you can find!” said the team behind the new imaging.
The data obtained from the Webb telescope’s imaging was part of the Webb Cycle One program, with the code #1256.
The James Webb Space Telescope, launched under an international collaboration agreement, is the largest and most powerful telescope ever launched into space. ESA provided the telescope’s launch service using the Ariane 5 launch vehicle, as well as the workhorse spectrograph NIRSpec and 50% of the mid-infrared instrument MIRI.
The Webb telescope is a joint project between NASA, ESA, and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).
For more information on the James Webb Space Telescope and its discoveries, visit the Webb website.
ESA Media Relations