James Webb telescope: Baby star launches giant jets and shocks

James Webb telescope: Baby star launches giant jets and shocks
James Webb telescope: Baby star launches giant jets and shocks

We show you our most important and recent visitors news details James Webb telescope: Baby star launches giant jets and shocks in the following article

Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - HOUSTON — Imagine you could go back in time 4.6 billion years and take a picture of our Sun just as it was being born. What would it look like?

Well, you can get a clue from this glorious new image acquired by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).

Towards the center of this object, called HH212, is a star coming into existence that is probably no more than 50,000 years old.

The scene would have looked much the same when our Sun was a similar age.

You can’t actually see the glow from the protostar itself because it’s hidden within a dense, spinning disc of gas and dust.

All you get are the pinky-red jets that it’s shooting out in polar opposite directions.

HH212 is sited in Orion, close to the three brilliant stars that make up the “belt” of the mythical hunter that gives the constellation its name. The distance from Earth is about 1,300 light-years.

Physics suggests those dramatic outflows of gas are the means by which the nascent star regulates its birthing.

“As the blobby ball of gas at the center compacts down, it rotates. But if it rotates too fast, it will fly apart, so something has to get rid of the angular momentum,” explained Prof Mark McCaughrean.

“We think it’s jets and outflows. We think that as all the material shrinks down, magnetic fields are pulled together and then some of the material coming in through the disc gets captured on magnetic fields and is thrown out through the poles. That’s why we call these structures bi-polar,” the European Space Agency senior scientific advisor told BBC News.

The pinky-red color denotes the presence of molecular hydrogen. That’s two hydrogen atoms bonded together (rather like the “HH” in the protostar’s name).

Shockwaves are moving through the outflows, energizing them and making them glow brightly in this Webb picture, which was captured predominantly at the infrared wavelength of 2.12 microns (that’s the second part of the protostar’s name!).

The image of HH212 was acquired by JWST’s Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam). You can’t see the protostar itself because it’s obscured by a dense, infalling disc of gas and dust. There are a few mature stars in the field of view, but most of the points of light are far-distant galaxies.

The structures are remarkably symmetric... except there appears to be an additional, albeit very messy bowshock on the right.

In fact, there’s probably a complementary bowshock on the other side. There are certainly pinky hints of it in a wider version of this Webb image. It’s just that the density of gas and dust in space in that direction is thinner and so there’s less material to excite and so the shock structure appears much more diffuse.

Astronomers have been studying HH212 for 30 years, taking pictures every now and then to see how it’s changed. As you might expect from the Webb super telescope, its new view is 10 times sharper than anything we’ve had before and will enable scientists to delve deeper into the processes that drive star formation.

A nice feature is to run together the entire image history to make a movie, to see how elements in the jet structures change over time. Repeat observations mean you can also gauge the speed at which those elements are moving - at 100km per second and more.

The HH stands for molecular hydrogen, and it’s a neat fit. But it really stands for Herbig-Haro, after George Herbig and Guillermo Haro, who did the pioneering work on this type of object in the 1940s and 50s.

They would no doubt be amazed by the capabilities of JWST. It’s not just the sharpness of image that Webb can achieve with its 6.5m primary mirror, it’s also the breadth of color its instruments can now detect that makes the telescope so special.

“As we said, the main wavelength for looking at these things - for looking at shocked molecular hydrogen - is 2.12 microns, or roughly four times longer than the mid-visible. But for the first time, we now have a good color image of this particular object because we’re able to observe it at other wavelengths that you just couldn’t see from ground telescopes. And that will help us get into what’s really happening in the jets,” said Prof McCaughrean.

Webb was intended to be transformative in many fields of astronomy, and the study of Herbig-Haro objects has definitely benefitted. — BBC

These were the details of the news James Webb telescope: Baby star launches giant jets and shocks for this day. We hope that we have succeeded by giving you the full details and information. To follow all our news, you can subscribe to the alerts system or to one of our different systems to provide you with all that is new.

It is also worth noting that the original news has been published and is available at Saudi Gazette and the editorial team at AlKhaleej Today has confirmed it and it has been modified, and it may have been completely transferred or quoted from it and you can read and follow this news from its main source.

NEXT FBI director warns that Chinese hackers are preparing to ‘wreak havoc’ on US critical infrastructure

Author Information

I have been an independent financial adviser for over 11 years in the city and in recent years turned my experience in finance and passion for journalism into a full time role. I perform analysis of Companies and publicize valuable information for shareholder community. Address: 2077 Sharon Lane Mishawaka, IN 46544, USA Phone: (+1) 574-255-1083 Email: [email protected]