New James Webb Image: Best View of the Cartwheel Galaxy

New James Webb Image: Best View of the Cartwheel Galaxy

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The James Webb Space Telescope continues to produce amazing photos. Now, his instruments have managed to peer into the chaos of the galaxy Cart-wheelrevealing new details about star formation and black holes.

This peculiar galaxy does not appear alone. The powerful infrared gaze del Webb has achieved a detailed snapshot of Cartwheel, but also of two companion galaxies smaller ones against a backdrop of many other galaxies. The snapshot, which also reveals the behavior of the black hole within the galaxy’s galactic center, provides new insight into how this has changed over billions of years, the American NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) point out in separate press releases.

The Cartwheel galaxy, located about 500 million light years in the Sculptor constellation, it is a rare sight. Their appearancemuch like a cartwheel, is the result of an intense event: a high-speed collision between a large spiral galaxy and a smaller one, not visible in this image.

Collisions of galactic proportions they always cause a cascade of different and smaller events between the involved galaxies; Cartwheel is no exception. The collision mainly affected its shape and structure. This galaxy has two rings, a bright inner one and a colored surrounding one. These expand outward from the center of the collision, like ripples in a pond after a stone is thrown into it. Because of these distinctive features, astronomers call it “ring galaxy” or ring, a less common structure than spiral galaxies like the Milky Way.

The bright core contains a huge amount of hot dust, and the brightest areas are home to gigantic clusters of young stars. On the other hand, the outer ring, which has been expanding for a few 440 million yearsis dominated by star formation and supernovae. As this ring expands, it penetrates the surrounding gas and triggers star formation.

It’s not the first time that a telescope captures an image of this stellar group -the Hubble it did, for example – but the dramatic galaxy has been shrouded in mystery – perhaps literally, given the amount of dust obscuring the view – NASA and ESA point out.

the webb, with its ability to detect infrared light, now discover new data about its nature. For example, the information collected by the MIRI instrument reveal regions within the galaxy rich in hydrocarbons and other chemical compounds, as well as silicate dust. These regions form a series of spiral spokes that essentially form the skeleton of the galaxy. These had already been seen in Hubble observations published in 2018, but they become much more prominent in this Webb image.

The image underlines that Cartwheel is in a very transitory stage. The galaxy, which was presumably a normal spiral galaxy like the Milky Way before its collision, will continue to transform. Although the telescope offers a snapshot of its current state, it also provides insight what happened to this galaxy in the past and how it will evolve in the future.

The collaboration of NASA, ESA and the Canadian CSA has made possible the James Webb, which also has spanish participation and of which his first image was known on July 11.

On its Twitter account today NASA said: “Webb is on a roll!” while the ESA wrote: “Who’s ready for some stellar gymnastics? This beautiful new image from Webb reveals new details about star formation and black holes.”

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