NASA's Webb Telescope Clicks Sparkling Image Of Heart Of Our Galaxy; SEE PIC

NASA's Webb Telescope Clicks Sparkling Image Of Heart Of Our Galaxy; SEE PIC

NASA's Webb captured a spectacular image of Sagittarius C, a star-forming region at the heart of the Milky Way, about 25,000 light-years from Earth.

Aditi ThakurUpdated: Wednesday, November 22, 2023, 01:30 PM IST
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James Webb Space Telescope has captured a stunning image of the Milky Way's Core | NASA/ Insta

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope has captured a stunning image of the Milky Way's Core, displaying a portion of the dense centre of our home galaxy, revealing never-before-seen details that astronomers are still trying to explain.

NASA took to Instagram and captioned, "Wish upon 500,000 stars. Take in this magical view of the heart of our home galaxy. Seen by the @NASAWebb telescope 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 centre."

Samuel Crowe, the researcher's team-leading investigator and University of Virginia in Charlottesville undergraduate student, said, "There is no infrared data on this part of the galaxy with such clarity of resolution and sensitivity we received from the Webb telescope. For the very first time, we are seeing detailed features here."

According to NASA's blog, "Webb displayed incredible detail, letting us study star formation in this environment in a way that wasn't possible previously."

The image displayed an estimated 500,000 stars, which can be seen sparkling in varying sizes and ages. A large protostar at the cluster's heart, with a mass greater than 30 times that of the Sun, is one of the protostars, which are dense masses of gas and dust still forming and growing into full-fledged stars, NASA explained.

Further, the space agency explained, protostars are emitting bright material, resulting in balls of light emerging from the formation, which appears drastically dark in infrared light. Adding, James Webb discovered ionised hydrogen emissions enveloping the steller's region's lower edge, displaying a cyan in the picture.

Jonathan Tan, research professor of astronomy and one of Crowe's supervisors at the University of Virginia, said, "The galactic centre is the most extreme environment in our Milky Way galaxy, where present theories of star formation can be rigorously tested."

Astronomers are still figuring out the cause of the large amount of energised gas that exceeds what would typically be released by young massive stars. The observation team is especially interested in formations that resemble needles within the ionised hydrogen and are arranged randomly.

Ruben Fedriani, a co-investigator on the research from Spain's Instituto Astrofisica de Andalucia, said, "The galactic centre is a tumultuous, crowded place. Turbulent, magnetised gas clouds form stars, which impact the surrounding gas with their outflowing winds, jets, and radiation." "With Webb's latest image, we have received a ton of data on this intense environment, and we are beginning to explore it now," he explained.

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