NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, in collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), has recently captured an array of high-resolution images of Herbig-Haro 211 (HH 211). This remarkable discovery showcases a bipolar jet traversing through interstellar space at supersonic speeds.
HH objects, commonly found enveloping newborn stars, are formed when jets of gas or stellar winds collide with nearby gas and dust at high velocities. Such regions are known to be luminous and provide crucial insights into the early stages of star formation.
The Webb Space Telescope’s unique infrared capabilities make it an ideal tool for dissecting the complex structures surrounding newborn stars, as it can effectively penetrate the obscuring gas and dust. Through its observations, the Webb telescope has unveiled previously unseen details of HH 211, revealing a series of bow shocks and a narrow bipolar jet.
Previous studies of HH 211 had already shown the presence of giant bow shocks, cavity-like structures, and a knotty and wiggling bipolar jet. However, the Webb’s latest observations have brought about a breakthrough: researchers have determined that the object’s outflow is relatively slow when compared to the outflows from more evolved protostars.
The velocities of the innermost outflow structures within HH 211 were meticulously measured, ranging from 48 to 60 miles per second. This finding suggests that the outflows from young stars predominantly consist of molecules.
The James Webb Space Telescope, spearheaded by NASA and in collaboration with ESA and CSA, is an international program that continues to push the boundaries of our celestial exploration. With its infrared capabilities, the Webb telescope enables scientists to delve into the intricate details of newborn stars and their outflows.
The discovery of HH 211 and its unprecedented features showcases the remarkable achievements of the James Webb Space Telescope, representing a significant milestone in our understanding of star formation and the universe at large.
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