The NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope has observed the well-known Ring Nebula with 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 both relatively close to Earth at roughly 2,500 light-years away.
The new images provide unprecedented spatial resolution and spectral sensitivity, which also reveal unique details across both infrared observations. For example, the new image from Webb’s NIRCam (Near-InfraRed Camera) shows the intricate details of the filament structure of the inner ring (left), while the new image from Webb’s MIRI (Mid-InfraRed Instrument) reveals particular details in the concentric features in the outer regions of the nebulae’s ring (right).
ESA/Webb, NASA, CSA, M. Barlow, N. Cox, R. Wesson