An international team of astronomers, as part of the NSF NOIRLab program, captured the western wall of the Karin Nebula in details previously impossible to imagine.
This unique detail is made possible by adaptive optics technology, which allows observations with 10x improved sharpness.
Astronomers’ attention to nebulae of giant clouds of dust and gas is not accidental – this is where stars are born. The Karina Nebula is located in the southern hemisphere of the sky in the constellation Carina. It is 500 times the size of the Orion Nebula, making it ideal for research.
The studies were carried out using the 8.1-meter Gemini South telescope located in Chile. The star-forming regions of the nebula are shrouded in dust. However, with the help of an adaptive optical thermal imager, it was possible to look behind the outer layers of dust and find a giant dust and gas massif glowing with intense ultraviolet light from nearby massive young stars.
The image from the Gemini South telescope is already giving a glimpse of what to expect from next-generation space telescopes such as the James Webb telescope.