Cosmic hourglass captured by the James Webb Space Telescope reveals birth of a star

The cosmic chaos caused by a very young star has been captured in the latest enchanting image from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope.

The protostar the image centers around is hidden from view in the neck of a dark, hourglass-shape cloud of gas and dust. The dark line across the middle of the neck is a protoplanetary disc — dense gas and dust that could form a planet in the future — about the size of our solar system. Light from the protostar spreads above and below this disc, according to a news release.

It has a long way to go until it becomes a full-fledged star. L1527, as the protostar and its cloud are known, is only about 100,000 years old — a relatively young celestial body compared with our sun, which is about 4.6 billion years old.