A new image from the James Webb Space Telescope offers insight into how the first stars formed in the early universe more than 10 billion years ago.
The image shows a star cluster called NGC 346, more than 200,000 light-years from Earth.
It is of interest to astronomers because it resembles conditions in the early universe, and by studying the region, they hope to learn more about how the first stars formed two or three billion years after the Big Bang.
Known as “cosmic noon,” this period is when star formation is at its peak.
“We see the building blocks, not just stars, but possibly planets,” said Guido De Marchi of the European Space Agency, a co-investigator on the research team.
He added that it is possible that “rocky planets” formed earlier in the universe than originally thought.
NGC 346 contains protostars, which are clouds of gas and dust that are developing into stars. As the star develops, material collects into a disk that feeds the central star.
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Olivia Jones, a researcher at the UK Astronomy Technology Center at the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and lead author of the forthcoming paper, said the high-resolution pictures taken by the telescope provided scientists with even more data.
“This is the first time we’ve been able to detect the complete star formation sequence of low-mass and high-mass stars in another galaxy, giving us new information about how star birth shapes its environment and even greater insight into star formation process.”
The most powerful James Webb Space Telescope in the world, Available Christmas 2021hoping that experts will be able to look back to the beginning of time when stars and galaxies were formed.
last july telescope Images of Neptune takenthe outermost planet of the solar system and its rings.