Thanks to NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, the last moments of a dying star’s life were captured.
A few days ago, NASA shared a stunning video of deep space that left people in awe.
Highlighted in the footage taken by v James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), — the Southern Ring planetary nebula.
Planetary nebulae are envelopes of gas and dust ejected from dying stars, NASA explained in blog post.
The Southern Ring Nebula, located approximately 2,500 light-years from Earth, was previously hidden from astronomers.
But thanks to JWST, viewers can now see the details of the dying star at the center of the nebula.
JWST used two cameras to capture the stunning images – cataloged as NGC 3132 – in the infrared.
Data and Content Received Telescope Webb will become indispensable for researchers.
“The Web will allow astronomers to explore many more features of planetary nebulae like this one,” NASA experts said.
“Understanding which molecules are present and where they lie in the envelopes of gas and dust will help researchers improve their knowledge of these objects.”
The footage also shows a second star tightly locked in orbit with the star in the center of the nebula.
NASA described the star system as complex, adding that the brighter star is at an earlier stage in its evolution and is likely to eject its own planetary nebula in the future.
“At the same time, the brighter star affects the appearance of the nebula. As the pair continue to orbit each other, they ‘stir up’ the gas and dust, causing asymmetric patterns,” NASA said.
Observations made with the NIRCam web camera also reveal subtle rays of light around the planetary nebula.
The researchers added that because planetary nebulae have been around for tens of thousands of years, observing them “is like watching a movie in extremely slow motion.”
“Each shell that the star has shed gives researchers a chance to precisely measure the gas and dust that is present in it.”
“Thousands of years from now, these delicate layers of gas and dust will dissipate into the surrounding space.”