A new image captured by the James Webb Space Telescope reveals the dramatic outflows of a young star in a Herbig-Haro object. These luminous flares are created when stellar winds shoot in directions opposite to the newborn stars, as gas jets collide with nearby dust and gas at tremendous speed. The image shows the Herbig-Haro object HH 797, located near the star cluster IC 348, and is near another object captured recently, HH 211.
The image was taken using Webb’s Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) instrument, contributing to revealing intricate details of the Herbig-Haro 797 object. This particular Herbig-Haro object is unusual in that scientists originally believed it was created from a single young star, but detailed observations reveal that there are actually two sets of outflows, coming from a pair of stars in the center.
The James Webb Space Telescope, a collaboration between NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Canadian Space Agency, has the ability to capture infrared emissions from the star’s outflows, making Herbig-Haro objects ideal for observation with Webb’s sensitive infrared instruments. Scientists explain, “Infrared imaging is a powerful way to study newly formed stars and their outflows, because the youngest stars are still invariably embedded within the gas and dust from which they form.”
The image also reveals that there are more new stars being born in the vicinity of the Herbig-Haro object. The bright yellow and green spot is believed to host two young protostars, adding to the richness of the observations made by the James Webb Space Telescope.