A close view of the central area of a dwarf galaxy. A huge number of stars fill the whole galaxy as tiny glowing points. They are brightest around the galaxy’s shining core. Thick clouds of gas and dust billow out across the scene, curling like moving flames. They glow in warm colours following their location: orange around the galaxy’s core, and around glowing star clusters in the bottom-left, and dark red elsewhere.ESA/Webb, NASA & CSA, A. Adamo (Stockholm University) and the FEAST JWST team The James Webb Space Telescope observed “starburst” galaxy NGC 4449, seen in this image released on May 29, 2024. Starbursts are intense periods of star formation usually concentrated at a galaxy’s core, but NGC 4449’s activity is much more widespread — likely due to past interactions with its galactic neighbors. Astronomers can study this galaxy to look into the past: NGC 4449 is similar to early star-forming galaxies, which also grew by merging with other systems.

See more Webb images from this year.

Image Credit: ESA/Webb, NASA & CSA, A. Adamo (Stockholm University) and the FEAST JWST team

Webb Spots a Starburst