Webbthe last picture of release is a special collaboration with the The Hubble Space Telescope. The combined scientists ofata of the two observatories to produce these spectacular images of the spiraling Phantom Galaxy (also known as Messier 74), about 32 million light-years from Earth.
Images capture gas clouds, dust and star forming regions in the galaxy with sharp relief. You can even view the distant cosmos beyond the rusty red arms of the galaxy, as seen in optical and mid-infrared light
According to the Guardian, Messier 74 is nicknamed the Phantom Galaxy due to its low luminosity, which makes it difficult to spot in the sky. Fortunately, the Webb Space Ttelescope, launched in December and commissioned this spring, is the most powerful space observatory Again.
M74’s position – almost facing Earth – and its well-articulated spiral arms make it an ideal target for astronomers seeking to better understand the galaxy. evolution. The galaxy also doesn’t have much gas at its center, so the star cluster at its core is well resolved.
M74 is just over 13 billion years old. It’s a spiral galaxy like our own Milky Way (which is a bit older). What we learn about star formation in M74 may well apply to our immediate galactic neighborhood.
Webb’s first pictures– nebulae, galaxies and spectra of the atmosphere of an exoplanet – showed the scientific potential of the telescope. Now the telescope is pointed at a multitude of science targets from interest in various scientific collaborations. There is even a Twitter bot which will keep you up to date with what Webb is observing at all times.
Recentlyit was the CEERS cooperation Look to image targets with Webb, which can observe farther and fainter targets with better resolution than other space telescopes.
The image of M74 was taken as part of the work of the PHANGS Collaborationwhich studies 19 nearby star-forming galaxies to better understand how these hot balls of gas form in our nearby universe.
Looking at the galaxy in different wavelengths of light highlights different features of its structure. In images taken by Hubble in optical light, the galactic center is too bright to see much detail, but in Webb’s infrared view, you can make out individual points of light.
The Hubble image also highlights a handful of pink spots across the galaxy; according to an ESA Releasethey are clouds of hydrogen gas that indicate where stars have recently formed. Merging the Hubble and Webb data creates a composite image that highlights the galaxy’s nuclear center while retaining the characteristics of its spiral arms, namely brownish-red dust-intact.
Wavelengths get distinctt feelings, too. The optical image makes the galaxy more ethereal, while the infrared image makes it look like a terrible space whirlwind.
It will still be time before the data can be sifted through by scientific teams, who will then draw findings ahow stars form in these nearby spiral galaxies; for now, we can just bask in the aesthetics of the cosmos.