James Webb telescope captures ‘cosmic hourglass’

(ORDO NEWS) — The James Webb Space Telescope captured the protostar L1527 and its surrounding dark cloud.

The bright colors of the nebula, visible only in infrared light, indicate that the protostar is in the process of collecting material.

These glowing clouds in a star forming region in the constellation Taurus are perfect targets for the NIRCam instrument.

The protostar itself is hidden from prying eyes. She hides in the center of a gas cloud, the shape of which resembles an hourglass.

The clouds in this image are colored blue and orange. The color depends on the thickness of the layers of dust between the Webb and the clouds. The blue areas are where the dust layer is thinnest.

L1527 is only about 100,000 years old. Given its age and far-infrared brightness, L1527 is considered a class 0 protostar. It is at the earliest stage of star formation.

Such protostars, still cocooned in a dark cloud of dust and gas, have a long way to go before they become full-fledged stars. L1527 does not yet generate its own energy through nuclear hydrogen fusion.

Its shape, although mostly spherical, is also not yet stable. And the mass of a protostar is from 20 to 40% of the mass of the Sun.

The surrounding molecular cloud is made up of dense dust and gas, which are attracted to the center where the protostar resides. The material is twisted in a spiral around the center.

This creates an accretion disk that feeds material to the protostar. As it gains more mass and contracts, the temperature of its core rises, eventually reaching the threshold for fusion to begin.

The size of the disk, which appears in the image as a dark band in front of the bright center, is approximately the size of our solar system.

Ultimately, this image of L1527 gives an idea of ​​what the Sun and solar system looked like in their infancy.


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