The wild tendril of the Keel Nebula appears in a special image of a star

The wild tendril of the Keel Nebula appears in a special image of a star

The Gemini South Telescope provided this view of the western wall of the Keel Nebula thanks to adaptive optics.

International Gemini Observatory / NOIRLab / NSF / AURA

The birth of a star is a gaseous and dusty affair, but it is also visually glorious. New images from Chile’s Southern Gemini Telescope bring the stellar nursery in the Keel Nebula into a stunningly sharp focus.

Astronomers are looking for the Keel Nebula to learn more about star formation. Images released on Monday show a complex dance of glowing gas and dust from the “Western Wall” along the nebula edge.

The secret source is Telescope adaptive optics. “Adaptive optics compensate for the effects of turbulence in the Earth’s atmosphere, producing sharp images that can be compared to images from a space telescope.” National Science Foundation’s NoirLab in a statement On Monday. NoirLab operates the Gemini Observatory.

By observing the nebula in infrared, we can see “the sharpest view ever of how giant young stars affect their surroundings and how star and planet formation progresses”.

The team behind the image, Led by Rice University’s astronomers, posting A paper on the achievements of The Astrophysical Journal Letters On Monday. Main author Patrick Hartigan says “stunning.”

Gemini images can taste what you would expect from a next-generation space telescope, such as: NASA’s delayed James Webb.

“Structures like the Western Wall will be a rich hunting ground for both Webb and ground telescopes with adaptive optics like Gemini South.” Hartigan said in Rice’s statement. “Each will break through the dust cover and reveal new information about the birth of the stars.”

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