The highlighted areas highlight regions where the interstellar medium within the galaxy is organized into distinct bubbles or voids, with dense, dusty, and gaseous materials surrounding them.
The highlighted voids in the image, while not displaying perfect self-similarity, may suggest a fractal-like pattern. In fractal geometry, such patterns do not have to be exactly identical at every scale, but they do exhibit a family resemblance—a similar arrangement or structure that recurs. The pattern of voids in the galaxy shows regions of less density, which may seem to be distributed in a way that echoes across different scales, albeit not with the precision of a mathematical fractal.
This kind of pattern, where large voids are surrounded by filaments of dust and smaller voids appear to nest within larger ones, can be described as statistically self-similar or quasi-fractal. In the cosmos, these patterns emerge not through a strict mathematical process but through the dynamic physical processes of the universe such as gravitational interactions, the movement of gas and dust, and the lifecycle of stars.
While these voids are not perfect fractals, their fractal-like distribution can be significant in studying the large-scale structure of the universe and understanding the mechanisms that contribute to galaxy formation and evolution.
And in these recent infrared images, it seems that we are able to see fractal-like characteristics more obviously. Then Webb has given us unique studies for fractal cosmology.