NASA's Webb space telescope captures a fiery hourglass out in deep space

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has revealed hidden features of the dark cloud L1527, giving insights into its hourglass shape.

1 minute & 14 seconds read time

NASA has taken to its blog and social channels to share yet another phenomenal image snapped by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).

NASA's Webb space telescope captures a fiery hourglass out in deep space 01

This time around, NASA's newest and most-powerful space telescope has honed its sensitive instruments on a protostar shrouded in a dark cloud - L1527. Webb's infrared instruments, capable of peering through the thick interstellar clouds, revealed new details to astronomers, giving insight into the early formation of stars and the strange shapes that they make during their formation. Above is a protostar shrouded within a dark cloud of material feeding the young star's growth.

The incredible colors seen above and below the star, which is at the "neck" of the hourglass, are a result of celestial "burps" from the star consuming the surrounding cloud material, and ejecting it out. The blue dust represents an area where the dust is the thinnest, while the red color represents an area where the dust is the thickest.

"Despite the chaos that L1527 causes, it's only about 100,000 years old - a relatively young body. Given its age and its brightness in far-infrared light as observed by missions like the Infrared Astronomical Satellite, L1527 is considered a class 0 protostar, the earliest stage of star formation. Protostars like these, which are still cocooned in a dark cloud of dust and gas, have a long way to go before they become full-fledged stars.

L1527 doesn't generate its own energy through nuclear fusion of hydrogen yet, an essential characteristic of stars. Its shape, while mostly spherical, is also unstable, taking the form of a small, hot, and puffy clump of gas somewhere between 20 and 40% the mass of our Sun," wrote NASA.


Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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