NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope captured another amazing image showing the formation and growth of new stars.
The picture was taken with the Near-Infrared Camera of the $10 billion observatory (NIRCam). It shows the hidden features of the protostar in the dark cloud L1527.
Infrared light is the only way to see clouds in the Taurus star-forming area.
NASA noted that the protostar is obscured by the hourglass-shaped formation’s “neck”.
A protoplanetary disk with an edge appears in the middle. The protostar’s light reflects off the disk and illuminates the cavities within the surrounding dust and gas.
The cavities are formed when material collides with surrounding matter and moves away from the protostar.
This image is from NASA’s James Webb Space telescope Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam). It shows the protostar in L1527’s dark cloud. It is embedded within a cloud that supports its growth. Credits: NASA, ESA and CSA. Image processing: J. DePasquale (STScI), A. Pagan and A. Koekemoer
The blue areas represent the dust between Webb’s clouds and the clouds. The thicker dust layer creates orange pockets.
The shot also shows filaments of molecular hydrogen that were exposed as the protostar ejects matter away from it.
Due to the “burps” that are so prominent in the upper central region, bubble-like forms can be seen.
Shocks and Turbulence prevent the formation of new stars that would otherwise be found throughout the cloud.
This is why the protostar dominates space.
L1527, which is approximately 100,000 years old, is a protostar class 0 — the earliest stage in star formation.
Although it doesn’t yet produce its own energy by nuclear fusion, hydrogen, this is an essential characteristic for stars. It has between 20% to 40% of the sun’s mass and takes the shape of a small, puffy, clumpy glass clump.
L1527 is seen gathering mass as its core compresses and gets closer to nuclear fusion.
The material spirals around the center as it is pulled in, creating an accretion disk.
This disk, which is visible as a dark area in front of the bright central and approximately the same size as our solar system, feeds the material to protostars and the core’s temperature rises.
It eventually reaches the threshold that nuclear fusion can begin.
NASA stated that “Ultimately, this view from L1527 gives a window into how our sun and solar systems looked in their infancy.”