James Webb Space Telescope Captures Cartwheel Galaxy In Incredible Detail


NASA’s $20-billion James Webb Space Telescope recently kicked off its operations, and the images it beamed back have already created a stir among astronomers. The revolutionary space telescope has now captured mesmerizing and highly detailed images of the “Cartwheel Galaxy.”

James Webb Space Telescope Captures Cartwheel Galaxy In High Detail

NASA released a statement explaining how JWST “peered into the chaos of the Cartwheel Galaxy,” which features an active black hole at the center. In the image, the galaxy can be seen resembling a wagon wheel.

Chance To Deeply Understand Star Formation

As per European Space Agency, this new image is not only a visual treat but will help researchers study star formation in more detail. The Cartwheel Galaxy is located around 500 million light-years away in the Sculptor constellation. Its formation is said to be "the result of an intense event — a high-speed collision between a large spiral galaxy and a smaller galaxy," notes NASA.

The space agency also notes that the galaxy was "presumably a normal galaxy like the Milky Way before its collision," and is likely to transform with time. JWST’s official Twitter account joked about the galaxy saying, “time to reinvent the wheel.”

Universe Through James Webb’s Lens

Recently, JWST astronomers said they might have managed to observe a supernova, using the space telescope’s NIRCam instrument. The data collected by James Webb was compared with the Hubble telescope’s data, which suggested that it could be a star that has gone supernova.

Why this observation is important because it will enable astronomers to understand a star’s life cycle and also measure the rate at which the universe is expanding. Most physicists agree with the fact that the universe is expanding at a very high rate. As per a 1998 study, researchers used a specific type of supernova to measure distances between objects in the cosmos.

The James Webb Space Telescope snapped its first set of images last month, and astronomers and space enthusiasts were excited to see them. These were full-color images, and scientists around the world were amazed by the details the images showed. Many even told reporters that they got emotional looking at the pictures.

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