Recently, NASA and the European Space Agency presented Beautiful new image of the Eagle Nebula, also known as the Eagle Nebula, created by the James Webb Telescope. Located 6,500 light-years away, this nebula is famous for its gas columns. These have been stealing the show for decades. is not it Scientias, or on television, in the movie (introduction to “Contact”) or in a magazine. The picture became world famous in a short time. And this is not surprising: the Eagle Nebula with its dusty pillars is beautiful.

But the European Space Agency is now involved Another new picture. This shot of gas plumes in the Eagle Nebula is very frightening. The pillars looked like ghostly structures against a blood red background. Also, many stars have mysteriously disappeared. How is that?

The explanation is actually quite simple: the image was taken with a Webbs Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI). This is a camera and spectrophotometer that monitors the medium to long infrared rays. Stars emit very little mid-infrared, so bright starlight is suppressed. Most of the stars shown in the image are dusty stars: they are so young that they are still nebulous or so old that they are already losing gas.

Click on the image to view a larger version.

No distant galaxies are visible in the image. This is because there is so much gas and dust in the interstellar medium of the Milky Way that the mid-infrared rays coming from the galaxies cannot pass through it.

Many young stars form in dusty columns. Unfortunately, these pillars will not last forever. Stellar winds from nearby heavy stars “erode” the plumes and eventually destroy them.

A picture with a Dutch touch
Fun fact about the MIRI camera: NOVA (Dutch School for Research in Astronomy) was responsible for the main optics of the MIRI spectrometer and thus made an important contribution to the instrument. So the picture has a nice Dutch touch.