JWST Reveals Protoplanetary Disks in a Nearby Star Cluster

This composite image contains X-ray data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and the ROSAT telescope (purple), infrared data from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope (orange), and optical data from the SuperCosmos Sky Survey (blue) made by the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope. Located in our galaxy about 5,500 light years from Earth, NGC 6357 is actually a “cluster of clusters,” containing at least three clusters of young stars, including many hot, massive, luminous stars. The X-rays from Chandra and ROSAT reveal hundreds of point sources, which are the young stars in NGC 6357, as well as diffuse X-ray emission from hot gas
Composite images of NGC6357 (Credit : NASA)

The Orion Nebula is a favourite among stargazers, certainly one of mine. It’s a giant stellar nebula out of which, hot young stars are forming. Telescopically to the eye it appears as a grey/green haze of wonderment but cameras reveal the true glory of these star forming regions. The Sun was once part of such an object and astronomers have been probing their secrets for decades. Now, a new paper presents the results from a detailed study from the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) that has been exploring planet forming disks around stars in the Lobster Nebula.

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