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James Webb captures unprecedented behavior in a star

James Webb captures unprecedented behavior in a star

Astronomers have revealed another amazing discovery made by NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). He captured an image of the Serpent Nebula, located about 1,300 light-years from Earth, revealing a phenomenon that was previously only theoretical: “protostellar jets,” jets of gas emerging from a newborn star.

Artist’s depiction of the James Webb Space Telescope in space. Credit: NASA

These jets have been observed before, but never in such an organized manner as in the James Webb Space Telescope image. on statementThe agency describes these parallel flows as “hail falling during a thunderstorm.”

When collapsing, the star-forming clouds tend to rotate in the same direction, explained Klaus Pontoppidan, a researcher at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). “These parallel structures are a historical record of the way stars are born.”

Only James Webb is able to see this area

Why has this not been seen before? The answer lies in the perfect alignment required for monitoring. Joel Green, of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), commented that this region of the Serpent Nebula can only be seen clearly with the James Webb Space Telescope.

Green is the lead author of A New study about these flows. According to him, it is now possible to take pictures of these young stars and their streams, which previously only appeared in the form of bubbles or were invisible due to the dust surrounding them.

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This discovery is another example of Webb’s amazing photographic power. The image of the Serpent Nebula is the first in a series dedicated to studying stellar nurseries. Later, the observatory will use near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRSpec) to analyze the chemical composition of the nebula.

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Pontoppidan highlighted that observing these important compounds in protostars before their planetary disks form could help understand the conditions that led to the evolution of our solar system.

Webb’s latest observations provide unprecedented insight into the processes that lead to the birth of stars, and perhaps the planets surrounding them. The future promises even more exciting discoveries as we continue to explore the secrets of the universe with this amazing tool.