The James Webb Space Telescope the team announced Thursday that scientists have discovered dozens of energetic jets and streams from young stars previously obscured by clouds of dust in one of the $10 billion observatory’s iconic first images.
In a statement, NASA said the “rare” finding, including a paper published this month in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, marks the beginning of a new era in how stars form and how radiation from nearby massive stars. can affect the development of planets.
Space Rocks of the Carina NebulaThe NGC 3324 star cluster is visible at a new wavelength with Webb, and the telescope’s capabilities allow researchers to track the motion of other features previously imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope.
Analyzing data from a certain wavelength of infrared light, astronomers discovered two dozen previously unknown outflows from extremely young stars detected by molecular hydrogen.
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Molecular hydrogen is an important component of star formation and is a good way to monitor the early stages of this process.
“As young stars collect material from the gas and dust surrounding them, most eject some of that material back out of their polar regions in the form of jets and streams. These jets then act like snowplows, bulldozing their environment. It appears that molecular hydrogen in Webb’s observations is the result of these jets.” is swept and excited by it,” NASA explained.
Objects were discovered: “tiny fountains” and “behemoths stretching light years from forming stars.”
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Previous observations of jets and streams have mostly looked at nearby regions and more advanced objects already detected at Hubble’s wavelengths.
“Webb’s unparalleled sensitivity allows for observations of more distant regions, while its infrared optimization probes the young stages of dust sampling. Together, this provides astronomers with an unprecedented view of environments similar to the birthplace of our solar system,” the agency noted.
Many of these proto-stars are destined to become low-mass stars like the Sun.
This is the period of star formationNASA added that it is particularly difficult to catch because it is relatively early.
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Webb’s observations also help astronomers shed light on how active star-forming regions are.
By comparing the state of previously known flows in this region with Hubble data from 16 years ago, scientists were able to track the speed and direction of the jets.
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