The James Webb Space Telescope has captured incredible images of a planetary nebula far from the Southern Ring;
The telescope showed that there were two, or possibly three invisible stars forming the curved shapes of the nebula;
The star that came from the planetary nebula could not have been alone when it died and ejected its material into space.
The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has captured incredible images of a distant planetary nebula in the Southern Ring, which astronomers and experts across the planet are studying to see how our Sun might evolve over the next few eons.
According to the University of Manchester, the JWST showed that there were two, or possibly three invisible stars forming the curved shapes of the Southern Ring. Therefore, the star that came from the planetary nebula could not have been alone when it died and ejected its material into space. , the researchers found.
Albert Zijlstra, professor of astrophysics at the University of Manchester, explained that it was incredibly unexpected to discover this.
“JWST revealed details of star deaths that we never expected,” he said.
“The Earth-mass ring of dust was a complete surprise. This star did not die alone: its companions left their mark on the nebula.”
The second star was discovered inside a ring of gas ejected by the first, with a mass slightly less than that of Earth. The third, much smaller star was found orbiting a gap within that same disk.
Not only that, but there could have been a possible fourth star based on some jets that came from across the planetary nebula. How a star forms a planetary nebula is still a mystery to scientists.
Humans supposedly have yet to directly observe the ejection during the formation of the nebula, according to the University of Manchester.
This particular planetary nebula in the Southern Ring also has a huge number of small clouds within it, all the mind-boggling size of an entire solar system. There are only about 3,000 known planetary nebulae in our galaxy.
The star that originated 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 ever recorded.
The JWST therefore opened a huge door to a detailed study of more planetary nebulae in the future, giving possible insight into exactly how they occur.