‘Car Wheel’: James Webb Telescope Releases Image of Curious-Looking Galaxy | Science

NASA, the US space agency, together with the Canadian and European space agencies, released this Tuesday (2) another unprecedented record made by the James Webb space super telescope.

The image shows a galaxy about 500 million light-years away from our planet, nicknamed the “Car Wheel” because of its similarity to this structure. To the left of this system, two smaller spiral galaxies are also visible.

  • Superzoom: The Universe Revealed by the James Webb Super Telescope
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According to NASA, the “Chariot Wheel” was probably a spiral galaxy (like our Milky Way) before it collided with a smaller galaxy over 400 million years ago, and it was precisely this collision that resulted in this characteristic formation.

“This system now consists of 2 rings – a bright inner ring and a surrounding colored ring. Both expand outward from the center like ripples on a lake,” the space agency said in a statement.

James Webb Telescope releases image of curious-looking galaxy

James Webb Telescope releases image of curious-looking galaxy

Other telescopes, including the famous Hubble, have already spotted the Cartwheel Galaxy (as it is called in English), but as an immense amount of dust obscures the view of this system for visible light telescopes, certain structures could not be seen until then.

With this new infrared observation of Webb – a method that overcomes this dust barrier – individual stars as well as regions of formation of these stars within the galaxy can be seen easily.

Furthermore, with the newly released data, scientists can better understand the behavior of the black hole at the center of the “Car Wheel” (although the black hole itself is not visible in the image).

Another image of the Car Wheel Galaxy taken by Webb, at a frequency other than infrared. — Photo: NASA/ESA/CSA/STScI/Disclosure

“These new details provide us with a renewed understanding of a galaxy that is in the midst of a slow transformation,” said the European Space Agency (ESA), which is also part of the international consortium that took the James Webb into space.

According to NASA, other records of the Universe made by the super telescope will be released in the coming weeks.

(VIDEO: See how super-telescope structures work.)

See the structures of the James Webb Telescope

See the structures of the James Webb Telescope

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