One of NASA’s most famous telescopes has made a stunning discovery about what happens when stars die.
The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is currently orbiting the Earth at the second Sun-Earth Lagrange point (L2), a point that is close to Earth but actually orbits the Sun Space.com.
JWST was launched last Christmas and has now sent its very first images back to NASA.
It has captured incredible images of a distant planetary nebula from the South Ring, which astronomers and experts around the world are now studying to see how our Sun might evolve in the eons to come.
However, the data the telescope returned, which matched the photos, shocked the scientists.
JWST showed there were two or possibly three invisible stars making up the curving shapes of the southern ring, per The University of Manchester.
Researchers found that the star emerging from the planetary nebula could not have been alone when it died and ejected its material into space.
Professor of astrophysics Albert Zijlstra from the University of Manchester explained that finding this was incredibly unexpected.
“JWST has revealed details about celebrity deaths that we never anticipated,” he said.
“The Earth-mass ring of dust came as a complete surprise. This star did not die alone: its companions left their mark in the nebula.”
The second star was discovered within a ring of gas ejected from the first, with a mass slightly less than Earth’s.
The third, much smaller star orbited a gap within the same disk.
Not only that, but there may have been a possible fourth star based on some jets coming out from across the planetary nebula.
How a star forms a planetary nebula in the first place is still a mystery to scientists.
According to The University of Manchester, people are said to have yet to directly observe the emission during the formation of the fog.
This particular planetary nebula in the southern ring also has within it a large number of small clouds, each of which is the overwhelming size of an entire solar system.
There are also only about 3,000 known planetary nebulae in our galaxy.
The star emerging from this particular planetary nebula was found to be about three times the size of our Sun, and the image offered by JWST allowed this calculation to be the most accurate on record.
The JWST has therefore opened a great door to a detailed study of other planetary nebulae in the future and possible insights into their precise formation.
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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/news-tech/9873268/nasa-telescope-stars-dont-die/ NASA Space Telescope Proves Stars “Don’t Die Alone” With Mind-Blowing Exploded View