January 26, 2023

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Cosmic slopes in full grandeur. Webb revealed regions that Hubble had not seen before

The Hubble Space Telescope has studied the star formation in the NGC 3324 nebula fairly well, but many details have remained hidden. Even launching Webb, which can work in the infrared range.

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By displaying data from a specific wavelength of infrared light (4.7 microns), Astronomers find out Twenty previously unknown outbursts of extremely young stars. Webb detected a riot of objects, from tiny geysers to massive, light-years-long behemoths of star formation. Many of these protostars are preparing to become low-mass stars like the Sun.

Webb gives us the opportunity to see how much star formation is happening in a typical corner of the universe that we haven’t been able to see before.
Dr. Megan Reiter of Rice University in Houston

Cosmic Cliffs are amazing – just like Webb’s abilities

The outflows are detected by molecular hydrogen, an essential ingredient for new star formation and an excellent indicator of the early stages of star formation. Astronomers note that young stars pick up material from the gas and dust around them, but most eject some of that material back from the poles in jets and outflows.

These jets are beacons to the most exciting part of star formation. We only see them during a short period of time when the protostar is actively accreting.
Dr. Nathan Smith of the University of Arizona in Tucson

New details of cosmic slopes revealed by the James Webb Space Telescope/Image. NASA

Previous observations of jets and outflows were mostly in the vicinity Hubble had already detected. Now, for the first time in history, entirely new areas uncovered by Webb have been discovered.

This opens the door to what will be possible in terms of looking at clusters of infant stars in environments more or less typical of the universe that were invisible until the James Webb Space Telescope. Now we know where to look next to study the variables important for the formation of sun-like stars.
Dr. Megan Reiter

The early star formation period is particularly hard to pin down because it’s a “fleeting” moment for any one star — it only lasts from a few thousand to 10,000 years, and that’s just a drop in the multi-million-year formation process. .

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