The James Webb Space Telescope has imaged the Cartwheel galaxy with unprecedented accuracy. Space agencies shared the images on August 2.
James Webb continues to amaze. In service since December 2021, the space telescope has been able to image the Cartwheel Galaxy, located 500 million light-years from Earth. NASA shared the shot on Twitter on August 2.
Web is on the way!
this news Tweet embed The near and mid-infrared composite image highlights the Cartwheel Galaxy, the result of a high-speed collision that occurred about 440 million years ago, along with two neighboring galaxies. Get details: https://t.co/c8lEVBBlub pic.twitter.com/eVe8m0k6N7
—NASA (@NASA) August 2, 2022
The wagon wheel was named because of its shape. Scientists believe that it was once a spiral galaxy, like the Milky Way, but it collided with a smaller galaxy. This shock would have turned her into a ring galaxy.
The wagon wheel then consists of two rings: one shiny on the inside and the other colored, extending outward. “It’s like the ripples you get in a pond when you throw a stone into it,” NASA said in a statement.
This galaxy has already been observed by the Hubble Telescope, predecessor of James Webb. At the time, the images were obscured by a large amount of dust, as evidenced in this post from the European Space Agency (ESA).
Telescopes have examined the Kartwell wheel galaxy before, but our view was obscured by gas and dust. # webInfrared imaging capabilities have revealed new insights into the nature of the galaxy https://t.co/pczZxNjh9Y (the left: Tweet embed 2010, correct: Tweet embed 2022) pic.twitter.com/yC407vXPLP
– ESA August 2, 2022
Twelve years later, James Webb’s technology has made it possible to learn more about the Cartwheel. Its ability to detect infrared light revealed many hidden details – note that two small galaxies are also visible in the image. “Webb gives us a glimpse into the current state of the wheel, but also its past, and its future development,” summarizes NASA.
James Webb is launched to reveal the secrets of the formation of the universe. It’s supposed to go back in time by capturing the light emitted up to 13.6 billion years ago, just 200 million years from the Big Bang. It also has the task of examining thousands of identified exoplanets so that experts can analyze them and discover (possibly) a possible form of life.
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