The James Webb Space Telescope has provided detailed images of the Herbig-Haro 211 (HH-211) object, revealing surprising features that were previously invisible in previous observations. HH-211 is a bright region surrounding a star in the process of formation, where stellar winds and gas jets generate shock waves when colliding with surrounding gas and dust at high speeds.

Infrared images have been crucial for studying forming stars and the material that surrounds them, as these stellar systems are immersed in molecular clouds. Infrared emission from the stellar-driven material flows can penetrate through gas and dust, allowing for detailed observations of Herbig-Haro objects like HH-211. Molecules such as molecular hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and silicon monoxide, excited by the turbulent conditions of the environment, emit infrared light that can be captured by the James Webb Space Telescope.

The new images obtained by the James Webb reveal a resolution between 5 and 10 times better than previous observations of HH-211. Additionally, precise measurements of the velocity of matter displacement in some of the flows, ranging between 80 and 100 kilometers per second, have been made.

An interesting aspect about the structure of HH-211 is that it could indicate the presence of two stars instead of one. If confirmed, HH-211 could evolve into a binary system in the future.

The James Webb Space Telescope is an international collaboration led by NASA, ESA, and CSA, the space agencies of the United States, Europe, and Canada respectively.

Sources: NCYT de Amazings