James Webb telescope captures colorful bursts of gas, dust in new image

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope’s high resolution, near-infrared look at Herbig-Haro 211 reveals exquisite detail of the outflow of a young star, an infantile analogue of our Sun. Herbig-Haro objects are formed when stellar winds or jets of gas spe (ESA/Webb, NASA, CSA, T. Ray (Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies))

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope observed a beautiful burst of colors in deep space surrounding a newborn star. 

Webb captured an image of a Class 0 protostar, which is a young star that’s a few tens of thousands of years old, according to NASA. It’s considered a baby compared to our sun which is estimated to be about 4.5 billion years old. 

Webb’s near-infrared imaging illuminated Herbig-Haro (HH) objects surrounding the star. HH objects are the regions that form around a newborn star after stellar winds or jets of gas spew out from its origin, NASA said. 

It is possible that this Class 0 protostar, which is currently dubbed HH 211, could eventually grow into a star not unlike our own sun. 

In the image shared on Sept. 15, HH 211 showed an outflow (the wing-like clouds) from the baby star which has a mass of about 8% of our sun.  

A series of bow shocks are showcased in the lower-left and upper-right sections of the image and NASA believes the characteristics of the newborn star suggest it may be an unresolved binary star. 

"The infrared emission of the star’s outflows penetrates the obscuring gas and dust, making a Herbig-Haro object like HH 211 ideal for observation with Webb’s sensitive infrared instruments. Molecules excited by the turbulent conditions, including molecular hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and silicon monoxide, emit infrared light that Webb can collect to map out the structure of the outflows," according to NASA.  

This story was reported from Los Angeles.