James Webb telescope: Baby star launches giant jets and shocks

James Webb telescope: Baby star launches giant jets and shocks

Nov 04, 2023 by BBC News - Technology

Key Facts

  • Image source, NASA/ESA/CSA/M. McCAUGHREAN & S. PEARSON Image caption, Moving at the speed of light, it would take about 1.6 years to travel the length of HH212's jets Imagine you could go back in time 4.6 billion years and take a picture of our Sun just as it was being born.
  • Shockwaves are moving through the outflows, energising 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!).
  • 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.
  • But for the first time, we now have a good colour image of this particular object because we're able to observe it at other wavelengths that you just couldn't see from ground telescopes.

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