The space telescope James Webb began its harvest of images of the Universe in the (infrared) light of its observation instruments. It is this time on the side of the galaxy cart wheel as it looked, providing detailed new images of this structure 500 million light-years away.
The result of a collision between a spiral galaxy and another smaller galaxy, it has two expanding rings giving it a characteristic shape, with a black hole in the center.
(credit: ASA, ESA, CSA, STScI)
The Hubble telescope had already photographed this structure, but James Webb’s infrared instruments enrich the view of this galaxy, which creates new stars, with new details.
? Cartwheeling along…
Take a look at these Hubble & Webb views of the Cartwheel Galaxy! In Hubble’s view, the glittering blue regions indicate starbirth.
—Hubble (@NASAHubble) August 2, 2022
Infrared observation makes it possible in particular to overcome the blurring of the dust surrounding the galaxy and two instruments, NIRCam (near infrared) and MIRI (mid infrared), have made it possible to create a composite image specifying the vision (and our understanding) of the phenomenon.
It is also a view of the evolution of the collision that took place 440 million years ago. NASA thus evokes a “transitional state” of the Chariot Wheel galaxy.
The image also shows two other nearby galaxies and many stars in the background with a higher level of detail than before.