This strange phenomenon has just been captured by the NIRCam instrument of the James-Webb telescope, in the infrared. We can see a colored hourglass shape, and in the center, hidden, a protostar, called L1527! Its protoplanetary disk also appears to draw a dark line across the forming star. The other features of the photo, colored clouds on either side of the center of the hourglass, correspond to the “cavities created when matter moves away from the protostar and collides with surrounding matter”, describes the NASA press release. Each color characterizes the different layers of dust between the telescope and the protostar.
The ESA video describes the characteristics of protostar L1527. It is possible to put subtitles in French in the video settings. © Bethany Downer, Nico Bartmann, Stan Dart, Nasa, ESA, CSA, STScI
Aged only 100,000 years, this future star which is in the direction of the constellation of Taurus is only in its very beginnings, which is called stage 0. It still has to attract towards it almost all the clouds of dust and gas that surround it, and above all to trigger the nuclear fusion reactions that will allow it to keep its core in place and generate energy.