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JWST Captures Stunning Image of Baby Star with Powerful Jets


Introduction

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has recently captured a remarkable image of a newborn star with powerful jets. This image provides astronomers with a detailed view of a Herbig-Haro object, which forms when a young star releases powerful winds that collide with surrounding gas and dust at supersonic speeds. The object, named Herbig-Haro 211 (HH 211), is located about 1000 light years away from Earth in the Perseus constellation, making it one of the closest Herbig-Haro objects known.

Insights and Measurements

The detailed image captured by JWST has allowed researchers to measure the speed of the outflow from the star, which ranges from 80 to 100 kilometers per second. While this may seem fast, it is relatively slow compared to the outflows from older and more evolved stars. The baby star at the center of HH 211 is approximately 8% the mass of the sun and is considered one of the youngest Herbig-Haro objects ever observed. The presence of wiggles in the jets suggests the possibility that it may be a binary star, although further investigation is needed to confirm this.

Implications and Significance

Studying Herbig-Haro objects like HH 211 provides valuable insights into the early stages of star formation and the processes involved in the ejection of material from young stars. By understanding these mechanisms, scientists can deepen their understanding of how stars and planetary systems evolve over time. The high level of detail captured by JWST’s image of HH 211 represents a significant advancement in our knowledge of Herbig-Haro objects and their characteristics.

Conclusion

The James Webb Space Telescope’s image of the Herbig-Haro 211 star offers a captivating view of the early stages of star formation and the powerful jets emitted by young stars. With its detailed measurements and imaging capabilities, JWST has provided astronomers with valuable information about the speed and characteristics of the outflows from HH 211. This image serves as a reminder of the ongoing discoveries and advancements in our understanding of the universe.

Topics Covered

  • Stars
  • James Webb Space Telescope
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