July 21, 2024

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Image from NASA’s Webb Telescope reveals early star formation in ‘rare’ discovery

Image from NASA’s Webb Telescope reveals early star formation in ‘rare’ discovery

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

In a statement, NASA said the “rare” discovery — including a paper published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society this month — marks the start of a new era of research into star formation, as well as how massive nearby stars radiate. It can affect the evolution of the planets.

Cosmic slopes of the Carina NebulaWithin the star cluster NGC 3324, seen at a new wavelength using the capabilities of the Webb telescope, allows researchers to track the motion of other features previously captured by the Hubble Space Telescope.

By analyzing data from a specific wavelength of infrared light, astronomers have discovered 20 previously unknown explosions from extremely young stars, revealed by molecular hydrogen.

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Dozens of jets and outflows from previously hidden young stars are revealed in this new image of the cosmic descent from the Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope. This image separates several wavelengths of light from the first image revealed on July 12, 2022, which highlights molecular hydrogen, an essential ingredient for star formation. The inset on the right highlights three regions of the cosmic slopes with particularly active hydrogen molecular currents. In this image, the red, green, and blue of Webb’s NIRCam data are set to 4.7, 4.44, and 1.87 μm (filters F470N, F444W, and F187N, respectively).
(Credits: NASA, ESA, CSA, and STScI. Image processing: J. DePasquale (STScI).)

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Molecular hydrogen is an essential ingredient in star formation and a good way to track the early stages of this process.

As young stars collect material from the gas and dust around them, most of them also eject some of this material from their polar regions in jets and outflows. These jets then act like snowplows, sweeping through the surrounding environment. NASA explained that visible molecular hydrogen is moving away. It was powered by these planes in Webb’s notes.

Things have been discovered, including “little fountains” and a “disturbing giant stretching light-years from star formation”.

Image of the cosmic cliffs, a region at the edge of a giant gaseous cavity in NGC 3324, taken by the Near Infrared Webcam (NIRCam), with compass arrows, scale bar, and color key as reference. The north and east compass arrow indicates the image’s direction in the sky. Note that the relationship between north and east in the sky (viewed from below) is reversed from the directional arrows on the Earth map (viewed from above). The scale bar is indicated in light years, the distance light travels in one Earth year. It takes two years for the light to travel a distance equal to the length of the scope. A light year is 5.88 trillion miles or 9.46 trillion km. This image shows the near-infrared wavelengths translated into the colors of visible light. The color key shows the NIRCam filters used to capture the light. The color of each filter name is the color of the visible light used to represent the infrared light passing 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)

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Previous observations of the jets and outflows have focused primarily on nearby regions and more advanced objects already detectable in Hubble’s wavelengths.

The agency noted: “Webb’s unparalleled sensitivity means that even the most remote regions can be observed, while the infrared enhancement examines even the smallest phases of dust sampling. Together, this provides astronomers with an unprecedented view of environments similar to where our solar system was born.” .. “”.

What looks like rocky mountains on a moonlit night is actually the edge of the nearby young star-forming region NGC 3324 in the Carina Nebula.  This image, taken in infrared light by the Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) on NASA's James Webb Space Telescope, reveals previously obscured regions of star birth.

What looks like rocky mountains on a moonlit night is actually the edge of the nearby young star-forming region NGC 3324 in the Carina Nebula. This image, taken in infrared light by the Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) on NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, reveals previously obscured regions of star birth.
(NASA, ESA, Canadian Space Agency, and STScI)

Many of these protostars will become luminaries, like the Sun.

This is the period of star formationNASA added that it’s especially hard to catch because it’s relatively ephemeral.

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

Comparing the location of previously known flows in this region with Hubble data from 16 years ago allowed scientists to track the speed and direction in which the jets were moving.