, August 11, 2022

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These are “Cosmic Cliffs”


  •   1 min read
These are “Cosmic Cliffs”
NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI

Here it is: the grand finale of the James Webb Space Telescope’s first images.⁣⁣
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Behind the curtain of dust and gas in these “Cosmic Cliffs” are previously hidden baby stars, now uncovered by the Webb telescope. Take a second to admire the Carina Nebula in all its glory.⁣⁣
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Webb’s new view gives us a rare peek into stars in their earliest, rapid stages of formation. For an individual star, this period only lasts about 50,000 to 100,000 years.⁣⁣
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View and download the full image of Webb’s “Cosmic Cliffs” at the link in our bio: nasa.gov/webbfirstimages ⁣⁣
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Credits: NASA, ESA, CSA, and STScI⁣⁣


The image is divided horizontally by an undulating line between a cloudscape forming a nebula along the bottom portion and a comparatively clear upper portion. Speckled across both portions is a starfield, showing innumerable stars of many sizes. The smallest of these are small, distant, and faint points of light. The largest of these appear larger, closer, brighter, and more fully resolved with 8-point diffraction spikes. The upper portion of the image is blueish, and has wispy translucent cloud-like streaks rising from the nebula below. The orangish cloudy formation in the bottom half varies in density and ranges from translucent to opaque. The stars vary in color, the majority of which, have a blue or orange hue. The cloud-like structure of the nebula contains ridges, peaks, and valleys – an appearance very similar to a mountain range. Three long diffraction spikes from the top right edge of the image suggest the presence of a large star just out of view.⁣⁣

Source: NASA Instagram Page
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