Monday, November 20, 2023

The Milky Way Galaxy's Center: Sagittarius C | James Webb Space Telescope

The Milky Way Galaxy's Center: Sagittarius C | James Webb Space Telescope

The full view of the NASA/European Space Agency/Canadian Space Agency 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 as-yet unidentified features. 

A vast region of ionized hydrogen, shown in cyan, wraps around an infrared-dark cloud. It is so dense that it blocks the light from distant stars behind it. Intriguing needle-like structures in the ionized hydrogen emission lack any uniform orientation. Researchers note the surprising extent of the ionized region, covering about 25 light-years. 

A cluster of protostars—stars that are still forming and gaining mass—are producing outflows that glow like a bonfire at the base of the large infrared-dark cloud, indicating that they are emerging from the cloud’s protective cocoon and will soon join the ranks of the more mature stars around them. Smaller infrared-dark clouds dot the scene, appearing like holes in the starfield. 

Image Description: In a field crowded with stars, a funnel-shaped region of space appears darker than its surroundings with fewer stars. It is wider at the top edge of the image, narrowing towards the bottom. Toward the narrow end of this dark region a small clump of red and white appears to shoot out streamers upward and left. A large, bright cyan-colored area surrounds the lower portion of the funnel-shaped dark area, forming a rough U shape. The cyan-colored area has needle-like, linear structures and becomes more diffuse in the center of the image. The right side of the image is dominated by clouds of orange and red, with a purple haze.

Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, S. Crowe (UVA)

Release Date: Nov. 20, 2023

#NASA #ESA #Astronomy #Space #Science #Stars #Protostars #SagittariusC #SgrC #Sagittarius #Constellation #MilkyWayGalaxy #JamesWebbSpaceTelescope #JWST #NIRCam #Infrared #NearInfrared #Cosmos #Universe #UnfoldTheUniverse #Europe #CSA #Canada #GSFC #STScI #UnitedStates #STEM #Education

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