James Webb Space Telescope The team announced Thursday that scientists have detected dozens of energetic jets and outflows from young stars previously hidden by clouds of dust in one of the first iconic images of the $10 billion observatory.
NASA said in a statement that the “rare” discovery — including a paper published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society this month — marked the beginning of a new era of investigation of star formation, as well as how massive nearby stars radiate. May affect the evolution of the planets.
Cosmic slopes of the Carina Nebulawithin star cluster NGC 3324, seen at a new wavelength using Webb’s telescope capabilities allow 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 twenty previously unknown outbursts from extremely young stars revealed by molecular hydrogen.
Molecular hydrogen is a vital ingredient in star formation and a good way to track the early stages of this process.
“When young stars collect material from the gas and dust around them, most of them also eject some of that material back from their polar regions in jets and outflows. These jets then act like a snowplow, sweeping through the surrounding environment. Visible Molecular hydrogen is swept up and excited by these jets, NASA explained in Webb’s observations.
Things have been discovered: including “mini-fountains” and “disturbing giants stretching light-years from forming stars.”
Previous observations of the jets and outflows looked mostly at nearby regions and more sophisticated objects already detectable in Hubble’s wavelengths.
The agency noted, “Webb’s unparalleled sensitivity allows the most remote regions to be monitored, while its infrared optimization investigates the smallest phases of dust sampling. Together, this provides astronomers with an unprecedented view of environments that resemble the birthplace of our solar system.”
Many of these protostars are set to become low-mass stars, such as the Sun.
This is the period of star formationNASA added that it’s especially hard to catch because it’s relatively ephemeral.
Webb’s observations are also helping astronomers shed light on how active star-forming regions are.
By comparing the location of previously known outflows in this region with Hubble data from 16 years ago, scientists were able to track the speed and direction in which the jets were moving.