Image from NASA’s Webb Telescope shows early star formation in a ‘rare’ find

The James Webb Space Telescope team announced Thursday that scientists have spotted dozens of energetic jets and outflows from young stars previously obscured by clouds of dust in one of the iconic first images from the $10 billion observatory.

In a press release, NASA said the “rare” find — including an article published this month in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society — heralded the start of a new era in the study of star formation and radiation from nearby massive stars marked could affect the evolution of planets.

The cosmic cliffs of the Carina Nebula within star cluster NGC 3324 are being seen in a new wavelength with Webb, and the telescope’s capabilities are allowing researchers to track the movement of other features previously captured by the Hubble Space Telescope.

Analyzing data from a specific wavelength of infrared light, astronomers discovered two dozen previously unknown outflows from extremely young stars visualized by molecular hydrogen.

STUNNING NASA IMAGERY EXPLORES IO’S VOLCANIC SURFACE

Dozens of previously hidden jets and outflows from young stars are revealed in this new image of the cosmic cliffs from NASA's James Webb Space Telescope near-infrared camera (NIRCam).  Seperating several wavelengths of light from the first image revealed on July 12, 2022, this image shows molecular hydrogen, a key component in star formation.  Insets on the right show three regions of the Cosmic Cliffs with particularly active molecular hydrogen outflows.  In this image, red, green, and blue have been mapped to Webb's NIRCam data at 4.7, 4.44, and 1.87 microns (F470N, F444W, and F187N filters, respectively).

Dozens of previously hidden jets and outflows from young stars are revealed in this new image of the cosmic cliffs from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope near-infrared camera (NIRCam). Seperating several wavelengths of light from the first image revealed on July 12, 2022, this image shows molecular hydrogen, a key component in star formation. Insets on the right show three regions of the Cosmic Cliffs with particularly active molecular hydrogen outflows. In this image, red, green, and blue have been mapped to Webb’s NIRCam data at 4.7, 4.44, and 1.87 microns (F470N, F444W, and F187N filters, respectively).
(Credits: NASA, ESA, CSA, and STScI. Image processing: J. DePasquale (STScI).)

Molecular hydrogen is an essential part of star formation and a good way to follow the early stages of this process.

“As young stars collect material from the gas and dust surrounding them, most also eject a fraction of that material back out of their polar regions in jets and outflows. These jets then act like a snow plow and crash into the surrounding area. Visible in Webb’s observations is the molecular hydrogen being entrained and excited by these jets,” NASA said.

Objects have been discovered, including “small fountains” and “bubbling giants light-years from the forming stars.”

Webb's near-infrared (NIRCam) image of the cosmic cliffs, a region at the edge of a gigantic gaseous cavity in NGC 3324, with compass arrows, scale bar, and color key for reference.  The north and east compass arrows show the orientation of the image in the sky.  Note that the relationship between north and east in the sky (seen from below) is reversed relative to the directional arrows on a ground map (seen from above).  The scale bar is labeled in light years, which is the distance light travels in one Earth year.  The light takes 2 years to travel a distance equal to the length of the beam.  A light year is approximately 5.88 trillion miles or 9.46 trillion kilometers.  This image shows invisible near-infrared wavelengths of light translated into visible light colors.  The color key shows which NIRCam filters were used when collecting the light.  The color of each filter name is the visible light color used to represent the infrared light going through that filter.  Webb's NIRCam was built by a team from the University of Arizona and Lockheed Martin's Advanced Technology Center.

Webb’s near-infrared (NIRCam) image of the cosmic cliffs, a region at the edge of a gigantic gaseous cavity in NGC 3324, with compass arrows, scale bar, and color key for reference. The north and east compass arrows show the orientation of the image in the sky. Note that the relationship between north and east in the sky (seen from below) is reversed relative to the directional arrows on a ground map (seen from above). The scale bar is labeled in light years, which is the distance light travels in one Earth year. The light takes 2 years to travel a distance equal to the length of the beam. A light year is approximately 5.88 trillion miles or 9.46 trillion kilometers. This image shows invisible near-infrared wavelengths of light translated into visible light colors. The color key shows which NIRCam filters were used when collecting the light. The color of each filter name is the visible light color used to represent the infrared light going through that filter. Webb’s NIRCam was built by a team from the University of Arizona and Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Technology Center.
(Image: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI)

RUSSIAN SPACE CAPSULE LEAK PROBABLY DUE TO MICROMETEORITE IMPACT, SAYS OFFICIALLY

Previous observations of jets and outflows mainly looked at nearby regions and more evolved objects already discernible in Hubble’s wavelengths.

“Webb’s unprecedented sensitivity enables observations of more distant regions, while its infrared enhancement advances into the younger stages of dust sampling. Together, this provides astronomers with unprecedented insight into environments resembling the birthplace of our solar system,” the agency noted.

What appear to be craggy mountains on a moonlit evening are actually the rim of a nearby young star-forming region, NGC 3324, in the Carina Nebula.  This image, captured by NASA's James Webb Space Telescope near-infrared (NIRCam) in infrared light, reveals previously obscured areas of star formation.

What appear to be craggy mountains on a moonlit evening are actually the rim of a nearby young star-forming region, NGC 3324, in the Carina Nebula. This image, captured by NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope near-infrared (NIRCam) in infrared light, reveals previously obscured areas of star formation.
(NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI)

Many of these protostars are expected to become low-mass stars, like the Sun.

This period of star formation, NASA added, is particularly difficult to capture because it’s relatively fleeting.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Webb’s observations also help astronomers shed light on how active the star-forming regions are.

By comparing the location of previously known outflows in this region to Hubble data from 16 years ago, scientists were able to track the speed and direction the jets are moving.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *