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The James Webb Space Telescope captures an image of NGC 346 using MIRI

The James Webb Space Telescope captures an image of NGC 346 using MIRI

After the image of the Orion Nebula and the image of the irregular galaxy NGC 6822, it’s time to observe New image captured by James Webb Space Telescope From the star formation region NGC 346 Which is located in the Small Magellanic Cloud (the satellite galaxy of the Milky Way). This is not the first time an image of that area has been released since then JWSTThe same thing happened in January 2023. What has changed is the use of the NIRCam tool in the less recent image while in the last image Merry (Medium infrared).

Scientists highlighted that thanks to the ability to observe infrared with higher accuracy than in the past, Web Allows you to watch with “fresh eyes” Star-forming regions that contain large amounts of cosmic dust. Only the photo was taken with Merry (Mid Infrared Instrument) by NGC 346 from Small Magellanic Cloud It is a clear example of this.

NGC 346 as seen by MIRI from the James Webb Space Telescope

there Small Magellanic Cloud It is located in the Toucan constellation at a distance of about 200 thousand light years from Earth and is considered less recent than the Milky Way. In the’picture Subordinate James Webb Space Telescope You can discover the ones that look like “cobwebs” It is blue in color and consists of silicate dust and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

Click on the image to enlarge

The red area is caused by dust whose temperature is higher than the ambient temperature. The heat comes from the brighter, more massive stars located in the central part of the planet NGC 346. Then there are some artefacts associated with the light coming from some of the stars at the edges of the image that take the form of arcs (also visible in the middle-left area).

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Then there are other regions that are slightly brighter, where there are more stars forming (protostars). According to reports, up to 1001 light sourcesMost of them are young stars still hidden by dust.

the James Webb Space Telescope Use filters F770W, F1000W, F1130W, F1500W and F2100W respectively for the wavelengths 7.7µm, 10µm, 11µm, 15µm and 21µm for which the colors blue, cyan, green and yellow are red. The image is not recent as it was taken during observations in October 2022 and covers 200 light-years (or 3.4 arc minutes).