James Webb Telescope shares first ever image of birth of a star
The protostar is located in the Taurus molecular cloud, home to hundreds of nearly formed stars, which is around 430 light years from Earth
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A stunning image of a blazing cosmic hourglass filled with bright orange and blue dust and hiding a very young star, or protostar, was captured by NASA’s James Webb Telescope. The image captured by Webb’s Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam) reveals the once-hidden features of the protostar within the dark cloud L1527 and provides insight into the beginnings of a new star, NASA said.
The protostar is located in the Taurus molecular cloud, home to hundreds of nearly formed stars, which is around 430 light years from Earth.
The photo shows a protostar hidden from view within the “neck” of this hourglass shape. An edge-on protoplanetary disk is seen as a dark line across the middle of the neck. Light from the protostar leaks above and below this disk, illuminating cavities within the surrounding gas and dust.
The celestial body, which contains the protostar and its cloud and is named L1527, is only about 100,000 years old and unable to generate its own energy through nuclear fusion of hydrogen, an essential characteristic of stars.
A black disk that surrounds the protostar, which is around the size of our solar system, will feed material to the celestial body until it eventually reaches "the threshold for nuclear fusion to begin," NASA in the statement said.
"Ultimately, this view of L1527 provides a window into what our Sun and the solar system looked like in their infancy," it added.
Built at a cost of $10 billion, Webb is the most powerful space telescope ever built, and has been in operation since July.
It has already shared a plethora of unprecedented data as well as stunning images. Scientists hope that it will unleash a new era of discovery of space.
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