James Webb Space Telescope captures star going supernova in a dazzling cloud of dust

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The James Webb Space Telescope captured the Wolf-Mayet star WR124 in the middle of a cloud of cosmic dust just before it goes supernova. (Image credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, Webb ERO Production Team)

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has captured a dazzling image of a star about to go supernova in a massive explosion.

The picture, released by NASA on Tuesday (March 14), shows the star WR 124 in the middle of a spectacular cosmic cloud. As it goes supernova, the star, which is about 30 solar masses, is expelling its outer layers; so far, it has ejected more than 10 solar masses’ worth of material. This is a rarely seen phenomenon in some stars’ life cycle called the Wolf-Rayet (WR) phase.

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