Friday, March 17, 2023


9:57 PM | ,

In this video, viewers are taken on a tour of NGC 346, a star-forming region in nearby galaxies. The region includes a star cluster located within a nebula 210,000 light years away in the Small Magellanic Cloud, which is a dwarf galaxy close to our Milky Way. New discoveries from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope indicate a more complex network of gas and dust structures than previously thought, including cold molecular hydrogen in a plume of gas that provides an ideal environment for young stars to form. These young stars generate energy that heats the gas, splitting the molecular hydrogen and creating rough ridges in the gas. In another area, a dragon-like formation spits out balls of hot gas, representing areas of active star formation that will continue to change the environment.
The presence of wisps in the upper right image is a clear indication of environmental changes. The winds emanating from stars in the vicinity are sweeping away the surrounding material of stars that are still in the process of formation, resulting in the formation of these small structures. The arc displays wavy strips of glowing gas outlining the cold molecular gas in the area. The numerous pillars of creation depict the extensive erosion of the stars in the region. In due course of time, the fusion of energized and dense hydrogen will lead to the emergence of thousands of stars and an abundance of these filamentary structures.

VIDEO: Danielle Kirshenblat (STScI)
MUSIC: High Street Music
SCIENCE: NASA, ESA, CSA, Olivia C. Jones (UK ATC), Guido De Marchi (ESTEC), Margaret Meixner (USRA)
IMAGE PROCESSING: Alyssa Pagan (STScI), Nolan Habel (USRA), Laura Lenkić (USRA), Laurie E. U. Chu (NASA Ames)

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