July 14, 2024

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James Webb records the first “cry” of a newborn star (video)

James Webb records the first “cry” of a newborn star (video)

The James Webb Space Telescope has captured another stunning picture of the universe, providing important, unknown information about a phenomenon related to the existence of stars. The subject of the image is the Serpent Nebula (Ovis), which is about 1,300 light-years away from Earth. The new image shows a manifestation of newborn stars that scientists believe exist but have not been observed in detail before.

In the upper left part of the image are several “protostellar jets,” or jets of gas exploding from newborn stars. While we’ve seen such outflows before, we’ve never seen them lined up in the same direction as in James Webb’s image. The alignment of protostellar streams provides very important clues about how stars form and provides strong support for the theory behind this phenomenon.

Historical moment

“Astronomers have long assumed that when nebulae collapse to form stars they tend to rotate in the same direction. However, this has not been observed directly in the past. These elongated, aligned structures are a historical record of the fundamental way stars are born.

This image of the Serpent Nebula is only the first in a series dedicated to this stellar nursery, so let’s hope for more discoveries in the near future as James Webb makes new observations there to analyze its chemical composition. “Looking at the abundance of these important compounds in protostars just before their planetary disks formed can help us understand how unique the conditions were when our solar system formed,” Pontoppidan said.

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