‘This was a star that lived fast and died young’: James Webb Space Telescope images show a star’s murder scene
, 2022-12-12 15:32:21,
December 13, 2022
Image credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, and STScI
The first images of a nebula from the James Webb Telescope gave astronomers remarkable insights into the death of the star that created these beautiful haloes of gas and dust.
Among the first five image sets from the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) released in July were a set of remarkably detailed photographs of the Southern Ring Nebula, a stunning nebula about 2500 light years away.
The source of this expanding cloud of gas, whose inner diameter is nearly 400 times the size of our solar system, is a dying star releasing gas and dust over a timespan of tens of thousands of years – and which may be affected by up to three nearby companion stars. The star was 530 million years old as it died, a fraction of our own Sun’s current age of five billion years.
“This was a star that lived fast and died young, compared to our five-billion-year-old Sun that is unlikely to eject its own planetary nebula for another five billion years,” says astronomy professor Orsola De Marco, from Macquarie University’s…
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