UNITED STATES: The Phantom Galaxy, also known as M74 and located approximately 32 million light-years from Earth, can be seen in great detail in new images from NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) unveiled on Monday.
The Hubble and James Webb space telescopes’ images provide a variety of views of the Phantom Galaxy, which is well known for its distinctive spiral structure.
The Webb telescope performs best when examining infrared wavelengths, whereas the Hubble telescope provides insights into ultraviolet and visible wavelengths.
By combining the data from the two telescopes to produce three views of the Phantom Galaxy—one from each telescope and a combination of the two—a deeper understanding of the Phantom Galaxy can be gained.
According to the ESA, “New photos of the magnificent Phantom Galaxy, M74, illustrate the potential of satellite observatories operating together in different wavelengths.”
The Webb telescope’s infrared vision reveals a ring star formation close to the Phantom Galaxy’s centre and gas and dust in its arm regions. In contrast, the Hubble telescope’s optical vision images show older stars centred toward the spiral’s center and newer, blue stars in its outer region.
“Feast your eyes on the beautiful spiral structure of the Phantom Galaxy, M74, as seen by Webb in the mid-infrared. Delicate filaments of dust and gas wind outwards from the center of the galaxy, which has a ring of star formation around its nucleus.”, NASA tweeted.
According to the ESA, the Phantom Galaxy’s unique spiral structure “makes it a favourite target for scientists studying the genesis and structure of galactic spirals.”
“Astronomers will also use the image to identify star-forming galaxies, precisely estimate the masses and ages of star clusters, and gain insights into the nature of the microscopic dust particles moving in interstellar space,” it added.
The JWST, whose primary mirror is more than 21 feet (6.5 metres) wide, was created through a partnership between NASA, the Canadian Space Agency, and the European Space Agency. It is anticipated to be in use for around 20 years.
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