Webb Telescope Captures the Trickster Beauty of the Ghost Galaxy

Webb Telescope Captures the Trickster Beauty of the Ghost Galaxy
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The spiral galaxy is a whirlpool of brown, blue, and pink.

webblast image of release is a special collaboration with the Hubble Space Telescope. The combined scientists data of the two observatories to produce these spectacular shots of the phantom spiral galaxy (also known as Messier 74), about 32 million light-years from Earth.

The images captures clouds of gas, dust, and star-forming regions in the galaxy in relief. you can even see the distant cosmos beyond the galaxy’s rust-red arms, as seen in optical and mid-infrared light

According to the GuardianMessier 74 is nicknamed the Phantom Galaxy because of how faint it is, making it difficult to detect in the sky. Fortunately, the Webb Space Ttelescope, launched in December and put into service this spring, it is the most powerful space observatory even.

M74 in optical light: The center of the galaxy is pale yellow and dotted with pink spots.

M74’s position, almost facing Earth head-on, and its well-jointed spiral arms make it a great 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 is a spiral galaxy like our Milky Way (which is slightly older). What we learn about star formation within M74 could well apply to our immediate galactic neighborhood.

by webb first images—of nebulae, galaxies, and spectra from an exoplanet’s atmosphere—showed the scientific potential of the telescope. Now the telescope is focusing on a group of science targets of specific targets. interest to many scientific collaborations. There’s even a twitterbot that will keep you up to date on what Webb is watching at any given time.

RecentlyIt was him CEERS collaboration Rotate target image with Webb, which can observe more distant and fainter targets in better resolution than other space telescopes.

The image of M74 was taken as part of the work of the PHANGS Collaborationwhich is investigating 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 Hubble’s images taken in optical light, the galactic center is too bright to see much detail, but in Webb’s infrared view, individual points of light can be distinguished.

The spiral galaxy seen in different wavelengths represented in different colors.

The Hubble image also highlights some pink spots throughout the galaxy; according to an ESA releasethose 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 maintaining the characteristics of its spiral arms, namely reddish-brown dust.–intact.

Wavelengths cause distinctiont feelings, too. The optical image makes the galaxy appear more ethereal, while the infrared image makes it look like a frightening whirlpool in space.

will still be something time before the data can be filtered by science teams, who will then draw conclusions aabout how stars form in these nearby spiral galaxies; for now, we can enjoy the aesthetics of the cosmos.

More: New images from Jupiter’s Webb telescope reveal the planet’s brilliant auroras

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