The James Webb never ceases to amaze us. Since those shocking first images, the space telescope has not stopped working. Today, it has arrived with news, and presents us with two new images of galaxies, including that of the “Ghost Galaxy”. The material reminds us of hypothetical wormholes.
The images have been captured by the expert in spatial image processing, judy schmidt, in conjunction with the JWST. Thanks to the telescope’s infrared instruments (MIDI), this impressive image has been achieved of the galaxy located about 32 million light years of our planet.
Although “Ghost Galaxy” is an incredible nickname, the real name of this formation is NGC 628, or Messier 74. Since its discovery, this galaxy has surprised astronomers and researchers, and all thanks to its impressive symmetry. In addition, scientists believe that at the heart of it is a black hole of intermediate mass, something that also arouses the curiosity of many.
Messier 74 has been under study for years. After all, it is one of the closest galaxies to us. In the image captured by the James Webb, the spiraling lanes of bright dust are seen, along with a bunch of colored dots that would represent the stars inside.
The James Webb offers us new views of outer space
But Messier 74 has not been the only object of observation by James Webb. The telescope also has captured another galaxy quite close to our surroundingsand it is NGC 7496. Despite having a drastically different formation than before, it is still an impressive object to look at with its unique geometry.
NGC 7496, like Messier 74, is a spiral galaxy. In this category is also our own Milky Way. The name is given by the formation maintained by the arms that make up the celestial body.giving it a classic spiral shape that is almost hypnotic.
This is also the first spiral galaxy the Webb observed during its science shots. It is located a little closer than the previous one, about 24 million light years away. Specifically in the constellation of Grus.
Glowing strands and clumps of dust, which would normally be dark in visible-light images, are bright and glowing in JWST’s infrared light.
Judy Schmidt on Flickr
Why have these images been captured?
Although the images are spectacular, their usefulness is not relegated solely to the factor shock that they can offer. In fact, these images belong to the PHANGS (Physics in high angular resolution in nearby galaxies, for its acronym in English). It is a set of recorded data to be able to study the link between stars and cold molecular gas in spiral galaxies.
Until now, the Hubble had been in charge of offering detailed images of these galaxies to the PHANGS, but with the launch of the James Webb, he was given this responsibility as well. However, the study uses data from the ALMA radio observatory and the Very Large Telescope, both located in Chile.