Wednesday, February 8, 2023
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James Webb Reveals Young Stars In Early Stages Of Formation In Stellar Nursery

James Webb Reveals Young Stars In Early Stages Of Formation In Stellar Nursery

The image that was analysed was captured by James Webb in July this year.

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has revealed deep secrets of the universe by peering deep into the empty space and capturing some of the stunning images. It has been made possible by the modern tools installed on the JWST that was launched in December to replace the Hubble telescope. Now, an analysis of one of the early images beamed back by JWST has shown young stars coming to life in their stellar cocoons in NGC 3324, a star cluster near the Carina Nebula.

The image is from a ‘Cosmic Cliff’, a region that lies of the edge of the active star-forming area. NASA said on its website that the region was well-studied by Hubble, but many details of star formation remained hidden at visible-light wavelengths. They have now been revealed by JWST.

The space agency said that JWST is built to detect jets and outflows seen only in the infrared at high resolution and that its capabilities allow researchers to track the movement of other features previously captured by Hubble.

“What Webb gives us is a snapshot in time to see just how much star formation is going on in what may be a more typical corner of the universe that we haven’t been able to see before,” NASA quoted astronomer Megan Reiter of Rice University in Houston as saying. He is the lead author of the study.

Webb’s observations uncovered a gallery of objects “ranging from small fountains to burbling behemoths”, NASA said in the release, adding that some of these outflows extend several light-years from their star.

The telescope’s powerful infrared capability has the ability to focus on molecular hydrogen, a vital ingredient for making new stars.

The young stars were so far obscured from view by dense molecular clouds where they were formed. But JWST’s powerful lenses were able to see inside the cosmic dust and reveal the stars.

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Abdullah Anaman
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