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Webb Observes a Star-Forming Region Creating Large Bubbles

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Webb Sees a Star-Forming Region Blowing Vast Bubbles

Star birth is a messy and chaotic event, hidden behind clouds of gas and dust in star-forming regions. Webb telescope (JWST) recently focused on NGC 604 in the Triangulum galaxy, capturing stunning images of more than 200 hot, young massive stars. These stars, some possibly 100 times the mass of the Sun, illuminate gas bubbles and tendrils in the region.

JWST’s images reveal the chemistry of the star-forming region, showcasing polycyclic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and molecular hydrogen, essential components in star and planet formation. The telescope’s mid-infrared instrument (MIRI) also identified red supergiant stars and cool gas and dust clouds in the nebula.

Hot young stars ionize hydrogen gas, causing it to glow white, while stellar winds blow gas bubbles, shaping the birth cloud and creating tendrils. The formation of stars depletes gas and dust in the region, affecting future star formation. NGC 604, similar to the Orion Nebula, measures 1,300 light-years across and has been a stellar nursery for 3.5 million years.

Other telescopes like the Hubble Space Telescope and Chandra X-Ray Observatory have previously studied NGC 604, providing valuable insights. Understanding star birth processes in different galaxies is crucial, as these phenomena are short-lived in the cosmic timeline. The intricate images captured by JWST offer a glimpse into the dynamic and fascinating world of star formation.

For More Information

Peering Into the Tendrils of NGC 604 with NASA’s Webb
The Formation of Stars

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Black couple overcomes racism to rent to Chinese family, who show gratitude by paying rent.

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Decades ago, in the early 1900s, racism and discriminatory housing practices plagued the town of Coronado, barring many individuals from living in certain neighborhoods based on their race. In the midst of this oppressive era, an inspiring story of resilience and generosity unfolded between two families — the Thompsons, a Black couple, and the Dongs, a Chinese family.

Gus and Emma Thompson, who were among the few Black families to own property in Coronado before racial restrictions took hold, defied the norms of the time by renting their house to the Dong family. Lloyd Dong Sr., a Chinese immigrant, and his wife found solace in the Thompsons’ willingness to offer them a place to call home despite the racist barriers they faced.

Fast forward 85 years later, the sons of Lloyd Dong Sr., Ron Dong, and Lloyd Dong Jr., have decided to pay forward the kindness shown to their family by donating $5 million from the sale of the house they eventually owned to San Diego State University’s Black Resource Center. This generous gift will help expand scholarships for Black students and fund renovations at the center, creating a lasting impact on the community.

Exterior view of a single-story home

The Dongs’ family house in Coronado, originally the home of the Thompsons.

(Courtesy of Janice Dong)

This heartwarming tale of intergenerational gratitude highlights the resilience and spirit of unity that transcends racial boundaries. Brandon Gamble, the director of the Black Resource Center, expressed the profound impact of this donation on the community, emphasizing the importance of stories that challenge racism and foster a sense of camaraderie.

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Reflecting on the legacy of his father and the Thompsons, Ron Dong shared, “That was the big plus for our family, because it has made all the difference for us.” The intertwined histories of the Thompson and Dong families serve as a testament to the power of empathy and solidarity in the face of adversity.

Gus Thompson’s journey from slavery to becoming a respected community leader in Coronado, coupled with Emma Thompson’s advocacy for civil rights, exemplifies the resilience and determination of marginalized communities to thrive in the face of oppression.

Gus Thompson in 1947.

Gus Thompson in 1947.

(Norman Baynard Collection / San Diego History Center)

The legacy of allyship and support exemplified by the Thompsons extends to their willingness to assist Asian Americans facing similar discriminatory practices. This act of solidarity echoes the sentiment that in times of oppression, helping others regardless of race is not just a gesture but a necessity.

As the Dong family embraced their new home in Coronado, overcoming discrimination and forging their path to homeownership, they carried forward the spirit of resilience and unity shown to them by the Thompsons. The bond between these two families serves as a beacon of hope and inspiration in a society marred with division and prejudice.

The Hotel del Coronado, a Victorian-style beach resort outside San Diego, and tent city on the beach, 1908.

The Hotel del Coronado, a Victorian-style beach resort outside San Diego, and a tent city on the beach, 1908.

(Smith Collection / Gado / Getty Images)

The resilience and determination displayed by the Dong family in the face of discrimination, coupled with their unwavering commitment to education and community upliftment, exemplify the triumph of the human spirit over adversity. The decision to give back to the community through education underscores the transformative power of generosity and empathy in creating a more inclusive and equitable society.

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As the Dongs’ generous donation paves the way for future generations to access educational opportunities and resources, their story serves as a beacon of hope and inspiration for all who strive to overcome adversity and champion unity in the face of division.

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