James Webb Space Telescope Feed Post

Date: 11/20/2023

NASA's Webb Reveals New Features in Heart of Milky Way (NIRCAM image)

Wish upon 500,000 stars ?? Take in this magical view of the heart of our home galaxy. Seen by Webb in unprecedented detail, Sagittarius C is a star-forming region about 3,000 light-years away from the supermassive black hole at the Milky Way’s center. In this image, a cluster of baby stars glows through the cocoon of a dusty cloud. At the heart of the cluster is a still-forming star over 30 times the mass of our Sun. Wrapping around the dense cloud of dust is a previously unseen region of ionized hydrogen gas (colored cyan). Within are intriguing needle-like structures, chaotically oriented, that scientists hope to study further. The galactic center is only 25,000 light years away from Earth, close enough for Webb to study individual stars. Webb’s data will help astronomers learn more about star formation in an extreme cosmic environment — and along with it, the origin story of our universe. Download this image and read more: go.nasa.gov/49JP1Th Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, Samuel Crowe (UVA) This image: The full view of the James Webb Space Telescope’s NIRCam (Near-Infrared Camera) instrument reveals a 50 light-years-wide portion of the Milky Way’s dense center. An estimated 500,000 stars shine in this image of the Sagittarius C (Sgr C) region, along with some as-yet unidentified features. [Image description: This image shows a field crowded with stars. A large, bright cyan-colored area surrounds the lower portion of a funnel-shaped region of space that is wider at the top edge of the image and then narrows. This funnel-shaped region appears darker than its surroundings. Toward the narrow end of this dark region a small clump of red and white appears to shoot out streamers upward and left. The cyan-colored area has needle-like structures and becomes more diffuse towards the right. The right side is dominated by clouds of orange and red, with a purple haze.] Image & Description by NASA