NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has observed the well-known Ring Nebula in unprecedented detail. Formed by a star throwing off its outer layers as it runs out of fuel, the Ring Nebula is an archetypal planetary nebula. Also known as M57 and NGC 6720, it is relatively close to Earth at roughly 2,500 light-years away. more info from NASA
This new image from Webb’s NIRCam (Near-Infrared Camera) provides unprecedented spatial resolution and spectral sensitivity. For example, the intricate details of the filament structure of the inner ring are particularly visible in this dataset. There are some 20,000 dense globules in the nebula, which are rich in molecular hydrogen. In contrast, the inner region shows very hot gas.
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