NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day 18 February 2023: Magnificent Galaxy from Webb Telescope | Tech News

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day 18 February 2023: Magnificent Galaxy from Webb Telescope

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day is Spiral Galaxy NGC 1365 which has been captured by the James Webb Space Telescope.

| Updated on: Feb 18 2023, 14:30 IST
Best NASA Astronomy Pictures of the week: Comet ZTF, Hydra Galaxy Cluster, Airglow and more
Barred Spiral Galaxy
1/5 Green Comet ZTF sweeps past Mars (Feb 13) - It is a picturesque image of Comet ZTF as it swept past Mars on February 10 and 11. Although the comet is no longer visible to teh naked eye, its picture was captured by astronomers as it appeared as a long faint object speeding away from the Sun. Its dust tail and ion tail were captured towards the bottom-right and the top of the image respectively. (NASA/Donato Lioce)
Barred Spiral Galaxy
2/5 Heart and Soul Nebulae (Feb 14) - NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day on February 14 was a celebration of Valentine's Day in the form of the Heart and the Soul Nebulae which are located about 6000 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Cassiopeia. Both nebulas shine brightly in the red light of energized hydrogen, one of three colors shown in this three-color montage. Light takes about 6,000 years to reach us from these nebulas, which together span roughly 300 light years.  (NASA/Juan Lozano de Haro)
Barred Spiral Galaxy
3/5 Airglow (Feb 15) - NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day for Feb 15 was a stunning picture of Airglow in the skies over Château de Losse in southwest France. It wasn’t just airglow that was visible. Various celestial objects were also seen, including Orion Nebula, California Nebula, Andromeda Galaxy, Mars, Sirius, Pleiades Star Cluster and the Milky Way Galaxy.  (NASA/Julien Looten)
Barred Spiral Galaxy
4/5 Hydra Galaxy Cluster (Feb 16) - Hydra Cluster of galaxies is one of the three large galaxy clusters within 200 million light-years of the Milky Way and it is surrounded by millions of stars. The galaxy cluster is over 100 million light-years away in the constellation Hydra. Three large galaxies near the cluster center, two yellow ellipticals (NGC 3311, NGC 3309) and one prominent blue spiral (NGC 3312), are the dominant galaxies, each about 150,000 light-years in diameter. (NASA/Marco Lorenzi/Angus Lau/Tommy Tse)
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5/5 Asteroid 2023 CX1 (Feb 17) - A 3.2 feet wide asteroid lit up the skies over Europe on February 12 as it turned into a fireball. The asteroid, named SAR 2667 or Asteroid 2023 CX1, turned into a fireball over the European skies where it was captured by astronomers and skywatchers. It was first discovered by Krisztian Sarneczky with a 2-foot telescope at Konkoly Observatory's Piszkesteto Station, located about 100 kilometers northeast from Budapest.   (NASA/Gijs de Reijke)
Barred Spiral Galaxy
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This is an enormous barred spiral galaxy that is about 200000 light-years in diameter. (Image Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, Janice Lee (NOIRLab))

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day 18 February 2023: Since the launch of NASA's costliest and most advanced eye in the sky - the James Webb Space Telescope - it has never ceased to send magnificent images. NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day presents a captivating snapshot of the Great Barred Spiral Galaxy, also known as NGC 1365 which had been captured by the James Webb Telescope. Located in the Fornax constellation, the reddish swirls surrounding the galaxy indicate recent star formation and potential locations of future star nurseries.

Merely 56 million light-years distant, the NGC 1365 is an enormous barred spiral galaxy about 200,000 light-years in diameter. Surprisingly, that's twice the size of our own barred spiral Milky Way! NASA explains, "Astronomers suspect the gravity field of NGC 1365's bar plays a crucial role in the galaxy's evolution, funneling gas and dust into a star-forming maelstrom and ultimately feeding material into the active galaxy's central, supermassive black hole."

Tech behind Barred Spiral Galaxy image by Webb Telescope

This sharp image from the James Webb Space Telescope's Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) reveals stunning details of this magnificent spiral in infrared light. The intricate network of dusty filaments and bubbles is created by young stars along spiral arms winding from the galaxy's central bar.

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What are barred spiral galaxies

Spiral galaxies are characterized by a rotating disc that contains spiral arms extending from a dense central region. The Milky Way is an example of a spiral galaxy.

There are four main classes of galaxies – spiral, barred spiral, elliptical, and irregular. Spiral galaxies are distinguished by their complex structure, which includes a central bulge within a rotating disc that exhibits a spiral pattern originating from the bulge. These galaxies are typically surrounded by sparsely populated halos, roughly spherical regions situated above and below the disc plane.

In contrast, barred spiral galaxies have arms that do not extend all the way to the centre but are connected to a straight bar of stars containing the nucleus at its centre.

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First Published Date: 18 Feb, 14:28 IST