Webb captures a crowded field of galaxies: Check out this spectacular pic

Devdiscourse News Desk | California | Updated: 31-01-2023 17:28 IST | Created: 31-01-2023 17:28 IST
Webb captures a crowded field of galaxies: Check out this spectacular pic
Image Credit: ESA/Webb, NASA & CSA, A. Martel

This latest picture from the James Web Space Telescope (JWST) shows a crowded field of galaxies, with a large spiral galaxy at the base. The bright stars in this image are crowned with Webb's signature six-pointed diffraction spikes.

The detailed spiral galaxy LEDA 2046648 is situated a little over a billion light-years from Earth, in the constellation Hercules. It is accompanied by another galaxy about one-quarter the size just beneath it. Both have a brightly glowing core and areas of star formation that light up their spiral arms.

According to the European Space Agency (ESA), this observation was part of the commissioning campaign for Webb's Near-InfraRed Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (NIRISS). NIRISS carries out independent research, while also assisting the Near-InfraRed Camera (NIRCam) in taking parallel observations. In this instance, NIRCam captured an image filled with galaxies, while NIRISS observed the white dwarf star WD1657+343.

For the unversed, the James Webb Space Telescope is a large, space-based observatory designed to study the universe in unprecedented detail. The mission is a collaboration between NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).

Using its advanced suite of scientific instruments, including cameras and spectrometers, to observe in a broad range of wavelengths, from visible light to near-infrared, Webb will help address some of the most important questions in astrophysics, including the formation of the first galaxies and the evolution of our own solar system. It is expected to make many groundbreaking discoveries and provide us with new insights into the universe and our place in it.

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