James Webb captured a rare image of a newborn star

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James Webb captured a rare image of a newborn star

A new image of a Herbig-Haro object obtained at James Webb Space Telescope shows the dramatic rise of a young star. These bright flares are created when the stellar wind blows in the opposite direction newborn stars, as the gas jets collide with nearby dust and gas at great speed. These objects can be large, up to several light years in diameter, and shine brightly in the infrared wavelengths at which James Webb operates.

This image shows the Herbig-Haro object HH ​​797, which is located near the star cluster IC 348, and also near another Herbig-Haro object recently acquired by Webb: HH 211.

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The image was taken using Webb’s Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) instrument, which is particularly suited to investigating young stars, Webb scientists explained in a statement: “Infrared imaging is a powerful way to study newly formed stars .” are born and their outflows, because the youngest stars are always embedded in the gas and dust from which they were formed. The infrared emission from the star’s outflows penetrates the obscuring gas and dust, making Herbig-Haro objects ideal for observation with Webb’s sensitive infrared instruments.

“Molecules excited by turbulent conditions, including molecular hydrogen and carbon monoxide, emit infrared light that Webb collects to visualize the structure of flows. “NIRCam is particularly good at observing of hot molecules (thousands of degrees Celsius) excited by collisions.”

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This particular Herbig-Haro object is unique because scientists initially believed it was created from a young star, like most of these objects. But these detailed observations revealed that there were actually two sets of outflows, coming from a pair of central stars.

In addition to the bright ripples from the Herbig-Haro object in the lower half of the image, there are also thought to be many new stars being born in the upper half of the image. The bright yellow and green area is thought to host two young protostars.