He has been in scientific operations for less than a month, but NASA’s James Webb is once again amazed by his view of the universe.
The super space telescope has now he peered into the chaos of the Cartwheel galaxy, revealing new details about the galaxy’s star formation and central black hole.
Its powerful infrared gaze produced a detailed image of the chariot wheel and two smaller companion galaxies against the backdrop of many other galaxies.
Located about 500 million light-years away in the Sculptor constellation, the Cartwheel galaxy is a rare sight.
Its appearance, much like that of a chariot wheel, is the result of an intense event: a high-speed collision between a large spiral galaxy and a smaller galaxy not visible in this image.
Other telescopes, including the Hubble Space Telescope, have previously examined the Cartwheel.
But the dramatic galaxy has been shrouded in mystery, perhaps literally, given the amount of dust obscuring the view.
Fireworks: The James Webb Space Telescope once again amazes with its view of the universe. He peered into the chaos of the Cartwheel galaxy (pictured), revealing new details about the galaxy’s star formation and central black hole.
This image from Webb’s Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) shows a group of galaxies, including a large distorted ring-shaped galaxy known as the Cartwheel.
INSTRUMENTS ON THE JAMES WEBB TELESCOPE
NIRCam (Near InfraRed Camera) an infrared imager from the edge of the visible through the near infrared
NIRSpec (Near InfraRed Spectrograph) will also perform spectroscopy on the same wavelength range.
MIRI (Mid-InfraRed Instrument) will measure the mid-long infrared wavelength range from 5 to 27 micrometers.
FGS / NIRISS (Fine Guidance Sensor and Near Infrared Imager and Slitless Spectrograph), is used to stabilize the observatory’s line of sight during scientific observations.
Webb, with its ability to detect infrared light, is now discovering new insights into the nature of the wagon wheel.
The Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam), Webb’s primary imager, looks in the near-infrared range of 0.6 to 5 microns, seeing crucial wavelengths of light that can reveal even more stars than seen in visible light. .
This is because young stars, many of which are forming in the outer ring, are less obscured by dust when viewed in infrared light. In this image, the NIRCam data is colored blue, orange and yellow.
The galaxy displays many single blue dots, which are single stars or pockets of star formation.
NIRCam also reveals the difference between the regular distribution or shape of older star populations and dense dust in the core versus the lumpy forms associated with younger star populations outside of it.
The $ 10 billion (£ 7.4 billion) observatory’s image also provides a new insight into how the Cartwheel galaxy has changed over billions of years.
Collisions of galactic proportions cause a cascade of different and minor events between the galaxies involved; the wagon wheel is no exception.
The collision particularly affected the shape and structure of the galaxy.
The Cartwheel Galaxy sports two rings: a glowing inner ring and a surrounding colored ring. These rings 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 the “ring galaxy,” a less common structure than spiral galaxies like our own Milky Way.
The bright core contains a huge amount of hot dust with the brightest areas hosting gigantic young star clusters.
On the other hand, the outer ring, which has been expanding for about 440 million years, is dominated by star formation and supernovae. As this ring expands, it penetrates the surrounding gas and triggers star formation.
Webb’s infrared capabilities allow him to “see back in time” to the Big Bang, which occurred 13.8 billion years ago. Light waves move extremely fast, about 186,000 miles (300,000 km) per second, every second. The farther an object is, the further back in time we are looking. This is due to the time it takes for light to travel from the object to us
The $ 10 billion (£ 7.4 billion) observatory (pictured) provided a new insight into how the Cartwheel galaxy has changed over billions of years
Learning finer details about the dust that inhabits the galaxy, however, requires Webb’s Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI).
The MIRI data is colored red in this composite image, revealing regions within the Cartwheel galaxy that are rich in hydrocarbons and other chemical compounds, as well as silicate dust, like much of the dust on Earth.
These regions form a series of spiral rays that essentially form the galaxy’s skeleton.
The rays are evident in previous Hubble observations published in 2018, but become much more prominent in this Webb image.
While Webb gives us a snapshot of the current state of the wagon wheel, it also provides insight into what happened to this galaxy in the past and how it will evolve in the future.
Last month, dazzling and unprecedented telescope images of a “stellar nursery”, a dying star cloaked in dust and a “cosmic dance” between a group of galaxies were revealed to the world for the first time.
It ended months of anticipation and anticipation as people around the world were treated to the first batch of a treasure trove of images that will culminate in the very first look at the dawn of the universe.
Webb’s infrared capabilities mean it can “see back in time” within just 100-200 million years of the Big Bang, allowing it to take photos of the very first stars to shine in the universe more than 13.5 billion years ago.
His first images of nebulae, an exoplanet and clusters of galaxies sparked a huge celebration in the scientific world, in what was hailed as a “great day for humanity”.
Researchers will soon begin to learn more about the masses, ages, histories and compositions of galaxies as Webb seeks to explore the universe’s earliest galaxies.
The James Webb Telescope: NASA’s $ 10 billion telescope is designed to detect light from the first stars and galaxies
The James Webb telescope has been described as a “time machine” that could help unravel the secrets of our universe.
The telescope will be used to look back at the first galaxies born in the early universe more than 13.5 billion years ago and observe the sources of stars, exoplanets and even moons and planets in our solar system.
The vast telescope, which has already cost more than $ 7 billion (£ 5 billion), is considered a successor to the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope
The James Webb Telescope and most of its instruments have an operating temperature of about 40 Kelvin, about minus 387 Fahrenheit (minus 233 Celsius).
It is the largest and most powerful orbital space telescope in the world, capable of peering back 100-200 million years after the Big Bang.
The orbiting infrared observatory is designed to be about 100 times more powerful than its predecessor, the Hubble Space Telescope.
NASA likes to think of James Webb as a Hubble successor rather than a replacement, as the two will work in tandem for a while.
The Hubble telescope was launched on April 24, 1990 via the space shuttle Discovery from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
It revolves around the Earth at a speed of approximately 17,000 mph (27,300 km / h) in low Earth orbit at approximately 340 miles of altitude.