Nov 27, 2023

Exploring the Heart of the Milky Way: Webb Telescope’s Breakthrough Observations

Posted by in categories: cosmology, innovation

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) recently used its powerful Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam) to peer into the very center of our Milky Way Galaxy, revealing stunning details in a star-forming region known as Sagittarius C (Sgr C) like never before, which includes approximately 500,000 in this single image. Sgr C is located approximately 300 light-years from the exact center of the Milky Way known as Sagittarius A*, which is a supermassive black hole. For context, the Milky Way is approximately 105,000 light-years across, so Sgr C being only 300 light-years from the center of the Milky Way is extremely close.

“The galactic center is a crowded, tumultuous place. There are turbulent, magnetized gas clouds that are forming stars, which then impact the surrounding gas with their outflowing winds, jets, and radiation,” said Dr. Rubén Fedriani, who is a Juan de la Cierva Postdoctoral Fellow at the Instituto Astrofísica de Andalucía in Spain and a co-investigator of the project. “Webb has provided us with a ton of data on this extreme environment, and we are just starting to dig into it.”

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