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Thursday July 25, 2024

Nasa releases image of protostar creating red, white, blue fireworks

James Webb Space Telescope captures star's fireworks as its nebula is located 460 light-years from Earth

By Web Desk
July 04, 2024
The nebula L1527 and its erupting protostar put on a celestial fireworks display, captured by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). — Nasa
The nebula L1527 and its erupting protostar put on a celestial fireworks display, captured by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). — Nasa

Nasa has released a stunning image that shows incredible red, white and blue fireworks erupting in the cosmos captured by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).

At the heart of the blue and white gas and dust cloud, or nebula, that birthed it, this cosmic’s “rocket’s red glare” is actually the violent eruption of an infant star. L1527 is the nebula in question. It is located around 460 light-years from Earth in the constellation Taurus, reported Space.

The nebula’s central “body” is a glowing protostar resembling a cosmic butterfly and is estimated to be around 100,000 years old. However, if that seems ancient, it is to remember that our star, the Sun, and the solar system around it are over 4.5 billion years old.

In actuality, the stellar object, which is at the heart of this nebula, isn't even a fully-fledged star yet. The process by which the protostar is transforming into a main sequence star like the Sun is marked by these cosmic fireworks.

When overdense patches gather more and more mass, eventually collapsing under their own gravity, stars are born from vast molecular clouds. This makes a protostar, which then continues to harvest material from the postnatal cloud of gas and dust that remains from the molecular cloud that birthed it.