New image of NGC 346, captured by NASA, ESA and CSA's James Webb Space Telescope's Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI), unveils the presence of cold gas and dust. In this image the blue hues correspond to silicate materials and the presence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, referred to as PAHs. A softer, crimson radiance emanates from heated dust, which derives its warmth from the brilliant and colossal stars at the core of this region. Notably illuminated spots and delicate filaments indicate regions teeming with numerous protostars.
NGC 346 is the brightest and largest star-forming region in the Small Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way over 200,000 light years from Earth.
Astronomers at UK ATC revealed new insights into star and planet formation by studying NGC 346 earlier this year.