Parallel Field to Protostar IRAS 23385 (MIRI Image)

Parallel Field to Protostar IRAS 23385 (MIRI Image)

This image was taken by MIRI (the Mid-Infrared Instrument) on NASA's James Webb Space Telescope of a region near the protostar known as IRAS 23385. The image is a single exposure at a wavelength of 15 microns which has been assigned an orange color.

IRAS 23385 and IRAS 2A (not visible in this image) were targets for a recent research effort by an international team of astronomers that used Webb to discover that the key ingredients for making potentially habitable worlds are present in early-stage protostars, where planets have not yet formed.

With MIRI’s unprecedented spectral resolution and sensitivity, the JOYS+ (James Webb Observations of Young ProtoStars) program individually identified organic molecules that have been confirmed to be present in interstellar ices. This includes the detection of acetaldehyde, ethanol, methyl formate, and likely acetic acid, in the solid phase.



NASA, ESA, CSA, W.R.M. Rocha (LEI)