Pic of the Week: Ice Chemistry

Image (Credit): The Chamaeleon I dark molecular cloud. (NASA, ESA, CSA, and M. Zamani (ESA). Science: M. K. McClure (Leiden Observatory), F. Sun (Steward Observatory), Z. Smith (Open University), and the Ice Age ERS Team)

This week’s image is from the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). It shows Chamaeleon I dark molecular cloud where both stars and planets are born. Here is more about the image from NASA:

A Webb image of the central region of the Chamaeleon I dark molecular cloud, which resides 630 light-years away. This image primarily shows blue smoky wisps on a dark background. The left top side additionally features orange and white wisps. Just below them are four bright points of light. Three are orange and one is a mix of white and orange. Each of these points have Webb’s signature 8-point diffraction spikes emanating around them in long, thick orange lines, so that they look like huge snowflakes. Scattered throughout the image are distant stars or galaxies in shades of red, orange and blue, seen as tiny blobs.