James Webb Space Telescope Captures A Pair Of Merging Galaxies In A Chaotic Shape. All About It


NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has once again left the world spellbound with an enthralling image of a cosmic object. JWST, also called Webb, has captured a pair of merging galaxies, called II ZW 96. The galactic pair is in a chaotic shape. The picture was first previewed for United States Vice President Kamala Harris and French President Emmanuel Macron. They were also shown a new composite image of the Pillars of Creation captured by Webb, the world’s most powerful telescope.

What Webb’s image of the galactic pair means

The galactic pair is roughly 500 million light-years from Earth, and is located in the constellation Delphinus. The merging galaxies swirl wildly, according to NASA. In Webb’s image, a spectacular collection of background galaxies can be seen.

Bright tendrils of star-forming regions connect the bright cores of the two galaxies. Since the galaxies are merging, they form a chaotic, disturbed shape. The gravitational disturbance due to the galactic merger has resulted in the spiral arms of the lower galaxy getting twisted out of shape.

How did Webb capture the galactic pair?

Webb observed II ZW 96 using the Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam) and Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI).

Webb chose the Galactic Merger due to the bright star-forming regions. Due to the presence of star formation, the galaxy pair is bright at infrared wavelengths.

Webb has observed other nearby Luminous Infrared Galaxies such as II ZW 96, which are particularly bright at infrared wavelengths, and have luminosities more than 100 billion times that of the Sun.

In order to put Webb through its paces soon after it was commissioned, an international team of astronomers proposed a study of complex galactic systems, including the II ZW 96.

Launched on December 25, 2021, Webb aims to unravel the secrets of the cosmos, and observe the earliest stars and galaxies.


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