The James Webb Space Telescope has captured a stunning image of a jet traveling through interstellar space at supersonic speeds, surrounding a star in its early stages of formation. The image shows Herbig-Haro 211 (HH 211), one of the youngest and closest protostellar flows to Earth, located in the constellation of Perseus.
Herbig-Haro objects are bright regions that form around newly born stars when the stellar winds or gas jets they emit collide with gas and dust at high speeds. The jet captured in the image reveals the outflow from a Class 0 protostar, similar to our Sun in its first few thousand years of existence.
The infrared image obtained by the James Webb telescope is particularly useful for studying forming stars and their outflows, as it allows penetration through the surrounding gas and dust. This provides an unprecedented view of star formation processes.
The observations made with these images have allowed researchers to determine that the outflow from HH 211 is relatively slow compared to other evolved protostars with similar characteristics.
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