James Webb Telescope captures stunning spiral galaxy in a field of galaxies | Tech News

James Webb Telescope captures stunning spiral galaxy in a field of galaxies

The Spiral Galaxy, captured by the James Webb Space Telescope, is located nearly 1 billion light-years away from Earth, in the constellation of Hercules.

| Updated on: Feb 02 2023, 14:17 IST
Top astronomy photos of the week by NASA: Galaxy wars, Nebula, Moon to Sun, check them out
Spiral Galaxy
1/7 On January 14, NASA released an image of Perihelion Sun 2023, the image was taken after January 4, at the Earth's closest approach to the Sun. It was taken less than 24 hours after the earth's close approach. (Peter Ward (Barden Ridge Observatory))
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2/7 On January 15, another photograph was released of The Crab Nebula snapped by the Hubble Space Telescope. The Crab Nebula, the result of a supernova seen in 1054 AD, is filled with mysterious filaments. ( NASA, ESA, Hubble, J. Hester, A. Loll (ASU))
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3/7 On January 16, NASA released an image of Moon Enhanced. The featured image is a composite of multiple images enhanced to bring up real surface features. The dark areas in the image, called maria, have fewer craters and were once seas of molten lava. Additionally, the image colours, although based on the moon's real composition, are changed, and exaggerated. (Darya Kawa Mirza)
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4/7 On January 17, the image of unexpected clouds toward the Andromeda Galaxy was released. (Yann Sainty & Marcel Drechsler)
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5/7 Image of MACS0647: Gravitational Lensing of the Early Universe Captured by James Webb Space Telescope was released by NASA on January 18. ( NASA, ESA, CSA, Dan Coe (STScI), Rebecca Larson (UT), Yu-Yang Hsiao (JHU); Processing: Alyssa Pagan (STScI); Text: Michael Rutkowski (Minn. St. U. Mankato))
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6/7 On January 19, the image of The Seagull Nebula was released. The complex of gas and dust clouds with other stars of the Canis Majoris OB1 association spans over 200 light-years. (Carlos Taylor)
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7/7 Galaxy Wars: M81 and M82, this image was released on January 20. On the right, with grand spiral arms and bright yellow core is spiral galaxy M81.  (Andreas Aufschnaiter)
Spiral Galaxy
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The Spiral Galaxy LEDA 2046648 was captured by JWST’s NIRCam instrument. (NASA/ESA/James Webb Telescope)

A galaxy is held together by gravity and is a huge collection of gas, dust, billions of stars and their solar systems. Galaxies come in a variety of sizes, from small dwarf galaxies with only a few billion stars to giant elliptical galaxies with trillions of stars. Although most galaxies have elliptical shapes, a few have unusual shapes like toothpicks or even rings. Though many galaxies are located thousands or even millions of light-years distant from Earth, NASA, ESA and other space agencies have bridged this distance, with the help of its advanced tech.

The James Webb Space Telescope has been amazing us with its capabilities with each passing day. NASA's $10 billion space telescope has been capturing breathtaking images of far-off galaxies, star clusters, black holes and more. It has now added another feather in its cap by capturing a spiral galaxy called LEDA 2046648 which is located almost 1 billion light-years away from Earth in the constellation of Hercules. LEDA 2046648 can be seen behind the space crowded by various stars and other galaxies.

What is a Spiral Galaxy?

According to NASA, Spiral galaxies are actively forming stars that make up a large amount of all the galaxies in our nearby universe. They can be further divided into two groups: normal spirals and barred spirals. In barred spirals, a bar of stars runs through the central bulge of the galaxy.

JWST's amazing tech which captured the image

The image was captured by the James Webb Space Telescope's Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) which is the primary camera onboard the telescope. It has three specialized filters and captures images in two different infrared ranges. Astonishingly, it is capable of capturing some of the farthest away near-infrared images ever obtained, detecting light from the first stars and galaxies. NIRCam also has coronagraphic and spectroscopic capabilities and is the primary tool for alignment of the telescope.

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First Published Date: 02 Feb, 14:16 IST