The Latest Images From The James Webb Space Telescope Show The Milky Way

The Latest Images From The James Webb Space Telescope Show The Milky Way

Thanks To The James Webb Space Telescope, We Now Have A Brand New Image Of The Cartwheel, A Distant Galaxy That Has Become A Perfect Wheel Due To A Collision With A Smaller Galaxy.

Scientists released the latest images from the James Webb Space Telescope on Tuesday. Newly released photos show the Wheel of the Wheel galaxy, approximately 500 million light-years away. The universe is so named for its wheel-like appearance, complete with a central hub, tire, and even wavy fluorescent spokes. James Webb also captured the image of two smaller galaxies next to the cartwheel.

The new images arrive after the unveiling of the first images recorded with James Webb on July 21. These early images showed various objects in stunning detail, including the Southern Ring Nebula, the spectacular Carina Nebula, the Throne Nebula, and the Stephan Group of Pentacles.

Astronomers have been studying the Milky Way galaxy for decades. Initially, I observed this galaxy from two ground-based observatories in Australia, the Schmidt Telescope and the English Australian Telescope.

Then, in the 1990s, the Hubble Space Telescope captured more detailed images of the Milky Way. Now James Webb has revealed star-forming regions in the galaxy’s rings and dozens of other star systems with cartwheel imaging, just as he revealed the existence of hidden universes much further away last month.

The cartwheel from the view of the James Webb Space Telescope's Nircom instrument

Used The Miri instrument on the James Webb Telescope to reveal the galaxy’s dusty regions and young stars.

The appearance of the cartwheel comes from the collision of two galaxies hundreds of millions of years ago. Marcia Riecke, the senior researcher at the James Webb Near Infrared Camera (NICAM), told The New York Times that the cartwheel probably looked like the Milky Way, and another galaxy moved through it. However, instead of being trapped in the large spiral, it had entered, the smaller universe continued to move away from the giant galaxy. However, this galaxy is not visible in the image published by NASA.

Galactic collisions are not uncommon in deep space, But they rarely lead to the creation of such a perfect form. The strange shape of the galaxy, formed by chance during the merger, has intrigued scientists to study it for decades, says Kirk Bourne, principal investigator of the Hubble Wheelbarrow Observatory.

As the smaller galaxy collided with the giant galaxy that passed directly through it, the shape of each universe became less distorted, and both were relatively able to maintain their original appearance.

“What changed the shape of the cartwheel was the influence of the gravitational field of the other galaxy, which changed the orbits of the stars in the cartwheel galaxy,” says Dr. Rieke.

Dr. Bourne, who has studied other galactic collisions, describes the smaller galaxy as a bullet that passed through the giant galaxy. After observing this celestial body in the 1990s, scientists discovered a trace of hydrogen gas from the smaller galaxy. Dr. Bourne calls this effect “mass evidence,” showing that the smaller galaxy continued to move after the cartwheel shape.

At 1.5 times the size of the Milky Way, the cartwheel continues to grow, with new stars forming inside the outer ring and at its edge. However, no one knows how much the cartwheel will grow, when it will stop growing, and what shape it will eventually take.

Cartwheel images were already available on July 21, But it was not published publicly until this week. Scientists have filtered the photos to make them more visually understandable for the general public. Although the result is colorful, Joseph DePascale, senior visual science developer at the Space Telescope Science Institute who works with both the Hubble and James telescopes, emphasizes that the stars and dust are detected as infrared light rather than colors.

The new technology to detect infrared light in such detail sets James Webb’s images apart from those of Hubble and the British-Australian Telescope.

Hubble had limited abilities to record light in the infrared spectrum, But James Webb is more advanced and creates brighter images. For example, the NICAM camera can distinguish the infrared colors of stars that are invisible to the human eye.

The wheel galaxy as seen by the Hubble Space Telescope

The spokes are covered mainly by gas clouds in the Hubble telescope image of the cartwheel.

When Hubble captured the Cartwheel image in the 1990s, clouds of light-scattering gas obscured the galaxy’s lobes, making it difficult to see the thousands of stars forming inside. Now that James Webb can observe mid- and near-infrared wavelengths, he can filter out space dust.

This ability of the telescope will help us to confirm some theories about the structure of the cartwheel and to discover some of the properties of the galaxy, such as the lack of star formation in some regions between the spokes of the Wheel.