James Webb Telescope reveals new image of Car Wheel galaxy

the space telescope James Webb traversed time and massive amounts of dust to capture a new image of the galaxy”Car wheel” with unprecedented clarity, reported the US and European space agencies, NASA and ESA, respectively, on Tuesday (2).

Located about 500 million light-years from Earth, in the constellation of the Sculptor, the “Wheel of Chariot” acquired its shape after a head-on collision between two galaxies. The impact caused two rings to expand from the center of the galaxy, “like ripples in the water of a tank after a stone is thrown into it,” NASA and ESA explained in a joint statement.

At the center of the galaxy is a smaller white ring, while the outer ring, with its colored rays, has expanded in the Universe over 440 million years, the note adds. As the exterior expands, it collides with the gas, which causes the formation of new stars.

Webb captured sharper image

The Hubble telescope had already captured images of this rare ring galaxy, which was probably a spiral like the Milky Way before it was hit by a smaller galaxy. However, the Webb telescope, launched in December 2021, has a longer range to capture the photographs.

Webb’s ability to detect infrared light allowed it to pass through “an enormous amount of hot dust” that obscured the view of the “Car Wheel” galaxy, NASA and ESA said. In this way, the telescope revealed new details about the star formation in the galaxy, as well as the behavior of the Black Hole supermassive at its heart, space agencies added.

It was also possible to detect regions rich in hydrocarbons and other chemical substances, as well as a Earth-like dust.

Behind the “Wheel of the Chariot”, two other smaller galaxies shine and, in addition to them, it is possible to see even more structures.

transitory phase

Studies from the image show that the “Car Wheel” galaxy is still in a “very transitory phase”, according to space agencies.”Webb provides us with a snapshot of the current state of the “Car Wheel” and also provides a look at what happened to this galaxy in the past and how it will evolve.”

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