See the James Webb Space Telescope’s Luminous Cartwheel Galaxy Image

A new image from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope reveals the rare Cartwheel Galaxy in unprecedented detail and provides answers about its past.

NASA‘s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has just released a remarkable image of the elusive Cartwheel Galaxy. The galaxy has previously been photographed by other telescopes, including the Hubble Space Telescope (shown above), but because it is obscured by dust and other debris, those images are indistinct. The new view provides a wealth of information about the formation and future of the Milky Way.

The Cartwheel Galaxy is part of the Sculptor constellation, some 500 million light-years away, demonstrating JWST’s ability to peer into the depths of space. Collecting data about the first galaxies formed in the universe This has historically been challenging because the farther an object is in space, the more the wavelength of light is shifted towards the red part of the light spectrum (a phenomenon known as redshifting). Scientists hope that Infrared Capabilities of the James Webb Space Telescope will allow them to observe these distant galaxies in greater detail. The Webb Telescope began publishing images on July 12, which have already provided a lot of new information about the universe. Now the telescope has provided unprecedented insight into how the mysterious Cartwheel Galaxy has evolved over billions of years.

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The new image (below) shows that the Cartwheel Galaxy was once a spiral galaxy not unlike the Milky Way. However, when that galaxy collided with each other at high speed, the two merged to form a rare ring galaxy. The Cartwheel Galaxy now has an epicenter surrounded by two rings: one small and brilliant, the other sprawling and colorful. Maping galaxies can be quite challenging, including the galaxyBut these new details give scientists a stronger sense of the architecture of the Cartwheel Galaxy. NASA Note He “These two rings extend out from the center of the collision, like waves after throwing a stone in a pond.This data provides a snapshot of the Milky Way at the moment, but it also reveals a galaxy in transition: the Cartwheel Galaxy will evolve as its rings continue to move outward.


when two galaxies collide


cartwheel galaxy
Image: NASA, ESA, CSA, STSCI

The new image is made possible by Webb’s unique collection of scientific instruments. The telescope’s Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCAM) is able to bypass dust clouds to observe wavelengths of light beyond the visible spectrum, while the Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) itself can provide more details about the dust. Is. These findings suggest that there are astronomical events of varying ages in the Milky Way. The outer ring is about 440 million years old, filled with Supernova and Star FormationWhereas the inner ring contains massive young star clusters and is extremely hot and dusty.


The Milky Way also has features”spokes”, which were earlier evident in Hubble images, but which are much clearer now. The spokes consist of silica dust along with hydrocarbons and other chemical compounds not unlike Earth’s. result, as shown by James Webb Space TelescopeThere is a magnificent structure that resembles the wheel of a spirited cart through space.

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Source: NASA

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