July 3, 2024

The protostar forming within the L1527 molecular cloud observed by the James Webb Space Telescope's MIRI instrument

A new image captured by the James Webb Space Telescope reveals new details of a protostar forming within the molecular cloud cataloged as L1527. The MIRI instrument offered new information on the ongoing processes that are leading to the birth of a new star. An accretion disk is barely visible edge-on and is important because the protostar is still absorbing materials from it and planets could form within it in the future. During its formation, the protostar emits jets of gas that collide with the remains of the surrounding cloud, generating the structures MIRI sees in a color that is blue in the top image (NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI) thanks to the presence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), compounds that are common in space.