James Webb Space Telescope Feed Post

Date: 11/21/2023

Sagittarius C (Annotated 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 300 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. Read more: go.nasa.gov/49JP1Th Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, Samuel Crowe (UVA) This image: Approximate outlines help to define the features in the Sagittarius C (Sgr C) region. Astronomers are studying data from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope to understand the relationship between these features, as well as other influences in the chaotic galaxy center. NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, Samuel Crowe (UVA) [Image description: A crowded region of space, full of stars and colorful clouds, more than twice as wide as it is tall, with features outlined in the image in different colors. A key on the right indicates what each outline is highlighting. From the top of the key down: an orange circle next to text, protostar cluster. An irregular green dashed-line shape with text, infrared-dark cloud. A straight red dashed-line with text, needle structures. An irregular yellow dotted-line shape with text, ionized hydrogen] Image & Description by NASA