The protostar within the dark cloud L1527, shown in this image from NASAâ€™s James Webb Space Telescope Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam), is embedded within a cloud of material feeding its growth. Ejections from the star have cleared out cavities above and below it, whose boundaries glow orange and blue in this infrared view. The upper central region displays bubble-like shapes due to stellar â€œburps,â€ or sporadic ejections.
Credits: NASA, ESA, CSA, and STScI. Image processing: J. DePasquale, A. Pagan, and A. Koekemoer (STScI)
NASAâ€™s James Webb Space Telescope has revealed the once-hidden features of the protostar within the dark cloud L1527, providing insight into the beginnings of a new star. These blazing clouds within the Taurus star-forming region are only visible in infrared light, making it an ideal target for Webbâ€™s Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam).
The protostar itself is hidden from view within the â€œneckâ€ of this hourglass shape. An edge-on protoplanetary disk is seen as a dark line across the middle of the neck. Light from the protostar leaks above and below this disk, illuminating cavities within the surrounding gas and dust.