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Webb Telescope Shows the Moment of Star Birth

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Photo: Webb Telescope Shows the Moment of Star Birth. Source: nasa.gov
Photo: Webb Telescope Shows the Moment of Star Birth. Source: nasa.gov

NASA has shown a new image sent by the James Webb telescope, which captures the birth of stars against the background of red gas and stardust clouds.

This is reported by the Voice of America.

The image shows the Ro Serpentine cloud complex, which is the centre of star formation and is located 390 light years from Earth. With the help of this image, astronomers can study this part of space in detail, NASA said in a statement.

"Prepare to be amazed!" wrote NASA administrator Bill Nelson, noting that the image "presents the birth of a star like an impressionist masterpiece".

"Webb's image of Ro the Serpentine allows us to see a short period of the stellar life cycle with new clarity," commented scientist Klaus Pontoppidan.

Some stars have shadows of circumstellar discs, a sign that planets may form around them. 

"This happens when a star breaks through the original dust envelope, throwing a pair of oncoming jets into space, like a child who first stretches out his arms to the world," NASA said.

Scientists say that all young stars are no bigger than our Sun. According to them, this stunning image provides the best clarity of the star's short life stage.

"It's like a glimpse of what our own system would have looked like billions of years ago when it was forming," NASA programme scientist Eric Smith told reporters.

"I like to remind people that when that light went off, it was about 1633... People were judging Galileo for believing that the Earth revolved around the Sun, and here we are today, seeing individual suns and planets forming," Smith said. 

This cloud complex, known as the Ro of the Serpentine, is the closest star formation region to Earth and is located in the sky near the boundary of the constellations of the Serpent and Scorpius. NASA noted that there are no stars in the photo, the details stand out even more. According to NASA, some of the stars show shadows that indicate possible forming planets.

Webb, the largest and most powerful astronomical observatory ever launched into space, has been capturing images of cosmic beauty for the past year. The first images from the $10 billion infrared telescope were released last July, six months after its launch from French Guiana.

Webb still has a long way to go, with astronomers hoping to see the universe's oldest stars and galaxies as they explore space for any hint of life.

"We've already used Webb to explore planets around other stars to analyze their atmospheres and to see if they're habitable," Smith said. According to him, the mission has only lasted a year, but so far there have been no positive results.

As reported by The Gaze, the James Webb Space Telescope has photographed Uranus, Neptune, Saturn and Jupiter.

It was also reported that according to a new study by scientists from the University of Ottawa, which challenges dominant cosmological theories, our Universe may be twice as old as currently estimated. 

And on 7 July, researchers used the James Webb telescope to find the most distant supermassive black hole. 

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