A Prominent Protostar in Perseus – European Space Agencys Press Stories

The James Webb Space Telescope, a joint effort between NASA, ESA, and CSA, has recently captured a stunning new Picture of the Month. The image reveals intricate details of the Herbig Haro object 797 (HH 797), which is a luminous region surrounding a newborn star. These Herbig-Haro objects are formed when stellar winds or jets of gas collide with nearby gas and dust at high speeds.

In the image, HH 797 dominates the lower half and is located near the young open star cluster IC 348, which is situated close to the Perseus dark cloud complex. The picture was taken using Webb’s Near-InfraRed Camera (NIRCam), which is specifically designed to study newborn stars and their outflows.

One advantage of infrared imaging is its ability to penetrate obscuring gas and dust, allowing for the visualization of the structure of these outflows. Ground-based observations have revealed that the red-shifted gas associated with HH 797 is found to the south, while the blue-shifted gas is found to the north.

However, the higher resolution image captured by Webb has provided new insights. It has revealed that what was previously thought to be a single outflow is actually two almost parallel outflows, each with their own series of shocks. The source of these outflows, located in a small dark region, is a double star that is producing its own dramatic outflow.

Additionally, the image also shows other outflows, including one from a protostar in the top right corner. Notably, HH 797 is positioned north of another Herbig-Haro object, HH 211.

In conclusion, the recent Picture of the Month captured by the James Webb Space Telescope showcases the remarkable details of the Herbig Haro object 797. This image, taken using Webb’s powerful Near-InfraRed Camera, reveals new insights into the structure and dynamics of newborn stars and their outflows. It is another exciting contribution to our understanding of the vast wonders of the universe.

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