A star is born: On its one-year anniversary, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope published an image capturing the formation of 50 young stars in vivid detail, including some that indicate the development of future planetary systems.

The new Webb image features the closest star-forming region to us, at roughly 390 light-years from Earth. The image includes 50 stars, all similar in size to the Sun or smaller, and highlights dark, dense areas where protostars are still forming. According to NASA, the red areas in the image show bipolar jets of molecular hydrogen, which are emitted when a star first leaves its shrouding of cosmic dust—a moment NASA said is “like a newborn first stretching her arms out into the world.”

NASA shares incredible close-up of Sun-like star formation for James Webb anniversary
One year after science operations began, NASA shares a mesmerizing image of the nearest Sun-like star-forming region, Rho Ophiuchi.


Image courtesy NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, Klaus Pontoppidan (STScI)

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