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James Webb has imaged the Ring Nebula in such detail that we’ve never seen it before

James Webb has imaged the Ring Nebula in such detail that we’ve never seen it before

In more than a year of its operation, NASA’s new space telescope has gifted the scientific world with countless extraordinary images and related exciting discoveries. Now researchers have set their sights on one of the most famous planetary nebulae, which was first captured by a galactic astronomer 137 years ago.

Jenny Gothard In 1886, he photographed the nebula called Messier 57, or better known as “Messier 57”, from the town of Herini located in the northern part of Zumbathely. Ring NebulaIt is one of the most interesting objects in the night sky. It was discovered more than a century ago by Charles Messier from the planetary nebula Then it became clear beyond any doubt that there was a white dwarf in the middle, which also reveals the composition of M57.

Star nebula-like formations are created when a star nears the end of its life cycle and turns into a red giant, ionizing nearby gases in the process. The red giant then turns into a white dwarf, but the nebula it creates remains for a long time.

According to astronomers’ calculations, the Ring Nebula, located about 2,500 light-years from Earth, was formed about 20,000 years ago in the constellation Lant. Thanks to the nebula’s brightness, it can be seen from Earth even with a simple telescope, and since it’s such an amazing phenomenon, it’s understandable why it has become one of the most photographed objects. However, no matter how much we know about M57, James Webb’s highly accurate instruments have been able to provide researchers with news about it as well.

The researchers used two instruments from the $10 billion space telescope to capture the images, NIRCam, which detects in the near-infrared range, and MIRI, which operates in the mid-infrared. He writes interesting geometry, which reports on the news. The images released Monday reveal in unprecedented detail the highly complex structure of the nebula, such as the fibrous structure of the inner ring and the distinctive concentric curves of the outer regions. The first of the images below was taken using NIRCam, while the second was taken using MIRI.

As is Declaration of the European Space Agency The images clearly indicate that hot gas condenses in the inner regions of the nebula, while in the outer regions there are about twenty thousand globules, i.e. a condensed haze of gases and dust containing a large amount of molecular hydrogen. The central crust of the nebula also contains a thinner ring of PAHs, while at the outer edge of the nebula are about a dozen concentric arcs, which may have formed during the interaction of the central star with a less massive celestial body.

So says Roger Wesson, an astronomer at Cardiff University He saidPlanetary nebulae were previously thought to be very simple in structure, but subsequent research has revealed that most planetary nebulae are “amazingly complex”. According to Wesson, the new images can expand our knowledge of such objects, for example by answering the question of how a spherical star can create such complex and delicate non-spherical structures.

(Photo: ESA/Webb, NASA, CSA, M. Barlow/UCL, N. Cox/ACRI-ST, R. Wesson/Cardiff University)

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