Pic of the Week: The Carina Nebula

Image (Credit): The Carina Nebula as captured by the JWST. (NASA)

This week’s image is an amazing view of the Carina Nebula from the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). It is one of the first images released by NASA this week. More of the early images are available here.

Here is NASA’s description of what you are seeing in this image:

This landscape of “mountains” and “valleys” speckled with glittering stars is actually the edge of a nearby, young, star-forming region called NGC 3324 in the Carina Nebula. Captured in infrared light by NASA’s new James Webb Space Telescope, this image reveals for the first time previously invisible areas of star birth.

Called the Cosmic Cliffs, Webb’s seemingly three-dimensional picture looks like craggy mountains on a moonlit evening. In reality, it is the edge of the giant, gaseous cavity within NGC 3324, and the tallest “peaks” in this image are about 7 light-years high. The cavernous area has been carved from the nebula by the intense ultraviolet radiation and stellar winds from extremely massive, hot, young stars located in the center of the bubble, above the area shown in this image.

I look forward to posting more such images as they are released.