NASA has released a new picture from the James Webb Space Telescope, showing a star being born.
The protostar is relatively young, at about 100,000 years old.
A series of stunning pictures have been released since the telescope went online earlier this year.
A new image taken by the James Webb Space Telescope captured the birth of a star.
A protostar named L1527, a young celestial body, pictured above created a shield from view behind the dark band in the center of the hourglass.
L1527 is only about 100,000 years old, in the earliest stages of becoming a star. Our sun, by comparison, is about 4.6 billion years old, CNN reported.
The picture was released on Wednesday.
As it gathers material to grow larger and larger, the protostar is shooting out material, which makes the cosmic dust and gas around it glow in infrared light, here artificially colored in orange and blue, NASA said in a press release .
It is therefore an ideal target for the sophisticated infrared camera (NIRcam) of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), which was able to peer for the first time through the dense clouds of dust and gas in the area.
Clouds like these, also known as nebulae, are the perfect breeding ground for stars to be born.
L1527 does not yet qualify as a full-fledged star. That’s because it is not yet able to make its own energy through nuclear fusion of hydrogen.
Right now, it is collecting more and more dust and gas from the clouds around it, which spiral around as they fall into the dense core, which is called an accretion disk that feeds the protostar’s material, according to NASA.
Little by little, the temperature of L1527 will rise, eventually reaching temperatures that can start a fusion reaction. But that won’t be for a long time.
This is the latest in a series of stunning space images that JWST has released since it went live earlier this year.
With its giant golden reflectors, JWST has provided unprecedented insights into space, from its fixed orbit, about a million miles from earth.
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