Astronomers merge Hubble's ultraviolet and visible-light view with Webb’s infrared vision: Check out this stunning image of galaxy pair VV 191
After Chandra, astronomers have now merged the data from NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope to trace interstellar dust within a galactic pair.
By merging the views from two powerful telescopes, Webb interdisciplinary scientist Rogier Windhorst of Arizona State University and his team were able to trace light that was emitted by the large white elliptical galaxy on the left through the spiral galaxy on the right. This image of galaxy pair VV 191 includes near-infrared light from Webb, and ultraviolet and visible light from Hubble.
In this composite image, green, yellow, and red colors were assigned to Webb's near-infrared data while blue was assigned to two Hubble filters, ultraviolet data and visible light.
"Understanding where dust is present in galaxies is important, because dust changes the brightness and colors that appear in images of the galaxies. Dust grains are partially responsible for the formation of new stars and planets, so we are always seeking to identify their presence for further studies," the researchers said in a statement.
New @ESA_Webb image!🤩 By combining #Webb infrared and @HUBBLE_space visible/UV images, researchers traced light from the large elliptical galaxy (left) through the spiral galaxy (right) to identify the effects of interstellar dust in the spiral galaxy 👉https://t.co/Eu1lBRhler pic.twitter.com/TDKJ4XjeHA— ESA (@esa) October 5, 2022
The composite image also shows many background galaxies like the two patchy spirals to the upper left of the elliptical galaxy that have similar apparent sizes but show up in very different colours.
The researchers obtained the data used in this image from early results of the Prime Extragalactic Areas for Reionization and Lensing Science (PEARLS) JWST Guaranteed Time Observation (GTO) programs, GTO 1176 and 2738. Additional data from Hubble's STARSMOG snapshot program (SNAP 13695) and GO 15106, were added.