NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope captures stunning new image of Pillars of Creation | Science & Tech News

If you’re looking to freshen up your phone wallpaper, you’d be hard-pressed finding a better one than this.

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has captured a stunning image of the Pillars of Creation, the iconic arrangement of newly-forming stars made famous by a previous shot in 1995.

Back then, it was the Hubble Space Telescope taking the picture, and it revisited the scene 19 years later.

A picture from 2014, compared to the new one on the right. Pic: NASA
A picture from 2014, compared to the new one on the right. Pic: NASA

The latest image shows the pillars of gas and dust in their greatest detail yet, appearing like majestic rock formations from a planet out of science-fiction.

They are in fact found in the vast Eagle Nebula, which is 6,500 light years away from Earth.

NASA says the improved picture quality will help astronomers identify more stars, and count more precisely the quantities of gas and dust.

It was captured by the telescope’s Near-Infrared Camera, the space agency added.

How to identify what’s in the picture

The most striking thing about the image are the newly-formed stars – those are the bright orbs you can see.

When knots with sufficient mass form within the pillars of gas and dust, they collapse under their own gravity, slowly heat up, and eventually form new stars.

Another eye-catching element of the picture are those wavy red lines, almost like lava.

NASA says those are ejections from stars that periodically shoot out supersonic jets that collide with the pillars.

These are among the youngest stars and are estimated to be only a few hundred thousand years old.

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