Hubble gets a sneak peek at how stars might have formed in the early world

Hubble gets a sneak peek at how stars might have formed in the early world ...

As a result of the James Webb Space Telescope''s early science findings, scientists were more than ever before to understand the early universe. However, it is not only Webb, which helps scientists to understand the universe when it was young as a result of a recent release from the Hubble Space Telescope, but also we have to learn a lot from other tools.

Hubble researchers revealed a cluster of stars in the Small Magellanic Cloud, a dwarf satellite galaxy of our Milky Way. This small galaxy has a different chemical composition than our galaxy, and is therefore more similar to galaxies found in the early universe, so studying it might aid us to understand how stars were born when the universe was still young.

The cluster of stars, called NGC 346, is small in size at just 150 light-years across, but it is a particularly busy stellar nursery. This region is full of young stars, and these stars appear to be forming in a flowing spiral structure of gas and stars that the researchers compare to a river. This might explain why the rate of star formation here is so high.

Stars are the machines that shape the universe. We would not have lived without stars, yet we cannot fully understand how they form, according to research leader Elena Sabbi of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore. Some of these models make predictions, but some of these are contradictory. We want to understand what is regulating star formation, because these are the laws that we must also understand.

The findings are relevant to the early universe because, like early galaxies, there are relatively few heavy elements to be found in the Small Magellanic Cloud. This means that the stars here burn hot and bright and die off quicker than the stars in our galaxy. This helps explain what might have happened in the period two to three billion years after the Big Bang.

Another of the researchers, Peter Zeidler of AURA/STScI, believes that a spiral is really the excellent, natural way to bolster star formation from outside towards the center of the cluster. It''s the most efficient way that stars and gas can push towards the center.