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The Crab Nebula captured by MIRI and NIRCam from the James Webb Space Telescope

The Crab Nebula captured by MIRI and NIRCam from the James Webb Space Telescope

We recently reported the discovery of elements heavier than iron in kilonovas thanks to… James Webb Space Telescope. Although the news is very important and interesting for scholars and enthusiasts, the captured images contain nothing “Significant impact” Visible. the JWST In fact, in the past I have taken particularly beautiful images also from an aesthetic point of view such as the star forming region NGC 346 or the supernova SN 1987A and also the Vortex Galaxy M51. The latest image released instead relates to The Crab Nebula (Also called the Crab Nebula, M1 or NGC 1952).

this nebula Located approx 6500 light years from Earth In the constellation Taurus. The history of observation dates back to the year 1054 when the supernova was seen (of which the nebula is considered a remnant). Thus, it was possible to follow the development of this astronomical event over the centuries until the present day and the operation of new scientific instruments. This is what we know.

The James Webb Space Telescope and the Crab Nebula

This image was created by combining data collected by the tools nercam And Merry For the near-infrared and mid-infrared with exposures that occurred on October 31, 2022, February 24, 2023, and March 17, 2023. The image covers approximately ten light-years (or 5.5 arc minutes) and thanks to the new data was possible with the distribution of dust in space in details never seen before. achieved before.

Click on the image to enlarge

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thanks for the James Webb Space Telescope It was possible to discover the area where the gods were located “gas filaments” (colored in red/orange) but also, in the central regions, areas of dust (colored in yellow/white and green) that Hubble failed to detect in the previous image of 2005. In particular James Webb Space Telescope Use filters F162M (blue), F480M (light blue), F560W (cyan), F1130W (green), F1800W (orange) and F2100W (red). The first two of nercamthe other two Merry.

always JWST took over Synchrotron radiationwhere charged particles (electrons, for example) move along magnetic field lines at relativistic speeds and are highlighted in the image with this emission that resembles “White/light gray smoke”. The reason for this phenomenon is the presence of a pulsar, which is a small white dot near the center of the image, which has a strong magnetic field that allows the formation of… Synchrotron radiation.

The Crab Nebula

Top image of the HST, bottom image of the James Webb Space Telescope

The formation of structures surrounding a pulsar is also related to the density and thickness of the gas near it. As this density increases “Supernova winds” They cannot be strong enough to push matter away in the same way, creating 3D games. The goal now is to collect more data from other telescopes, such as Hubble (which could observe the region in 2024), to get a better understanding of what happened from the moment of the supernova explosion to the present day. For those who want to download the image in maximum resolution, ESA Made available file The Crab Nebula 147 MB.

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