What Does the Last Photo from the James Webb Space Telescope Mean?

car wheel galaxy (eso 350-40 or cartwheel) and accompanying galaxies, this image is a composite of images from webb’s near-infrared camera (nircam) and mid-infrared instrument (miri) and contains details that are difficult to see with a single camera.

This galaxy was formed as a result of a high-speed collision that occurred about 400 million years ago. The swivel wheel consists of two rings, a bright inner ring and a colored outer ring. both rings expand outward from the center of the collision like shock waves.

image of miri

however, despite the impact, much of the character of the large, spiral galaxy that existed before the collision remains, including its spinning arms. this creates the “spokes”-like appearance that inspired the name of the galaxy of bright red lines seen between the inner and outer rings. These bright red hues, found not only along the spinner wheel but also in the accompanying spiral galaxy at upper left, are caused by glowing, hydrocarbon-rich dust.

in this near and mid-infrared composite image, miri data is in red and nircam data is in blue, orange, and yellow. In the middle of the red dust vortices are many individual blue dots that represent individual stars or pockets of star formation. nircam also identifies the difference between older stellar populations in the core and dense dust and younger stellar populations outside it.

Nircam and Miri combined image

Webb’s observations capture the cartwheel at a very discontinuous stage. Given these two competing forces, the shape the carwheel galaxy will eventually take is still a mystery. however, this snapshot provides a glimpse into the galaxy of what has happened in the past and what will happen in the future.

source: nasa/webbtelescope.org

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button