March 23, 2023

Why in news

  • NASA’s James Webb telescope has found a star formation (Called NGC 346) in a dynamic duster that lies within SMC.
  • NCG 346 is located in the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC), a dwarf galaxy close to our Milky Way. The SMC contains lower concentrations of elements heavier than hydrogen or helium, which astronomers call metals, compared to the Milky Way.
  • Since dust grains in space are composed mostly of metals, scientists expected there would be low amounts of dust, and that it would be hard to detect. New data from Webb reveals the opposite.
  • Visible to naked eye from southern hemisphere, SMC is smaller of the two irregular galaxies that make up to Magellanic Clouds.
  • These two galaxies orbit the Milky Way once every 1,500 million years, and each other once every 900 million years.
  • Magellanic Clouds were formed at about same time as Milky Way Galaxy, approximately 13 billion years ago.
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