The James Webb Area Telescope has taken an image of the Cartwheel galaxy, which obtained its bizarre wheel-like form when a smaller galaxy crashed by way of it


2 August 2022

The Cartwheel galaxy and its companion galaxies

The Cartwheel galaxy and its companion galaxies

NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, Webb ERO Manufacturing Group

The James Webb Area Telescope (JWST) has taken an image of one of many strangest galaxies within the universe. The small print of the Cartwheel galaxy are obscured by mud, which has made learning it tough, however the brand new photos from JWST peer by way of to disclose this bizarre galaxy in additional element than ever earlier than.

The Cartwheel galaxy is about 500 million gentle years away and measures about 150,000 gentle years throughout. Researchers imagine that it was most definitely a spiral galaxy much like the Milky Method earlier than one in all its companion galaxies blasted by way of it like a bullet by way of a goal, sending waves of stars and gasoline rippling out from the galaxy’s centre and creating the nested ring shapes that we see immediately.

The inside ring that surrounds the comparatively previous stars on the centre of the galaxy is made largely of scorching, vivid mud, together with some enormous clusters of younger stars. The outer ring is simply as dynamic if not much more so – because it expands outward, it smashes by way of the gasoline surrounding the galaxy and triggers bursts of star formation, which gentle up the encircling mud.

There are additionally areas of intense star formation within the spokes connecting the 2 rings, which appear to be remnants of the galaxy’s spiral arms. “This mud is lighting up the spokes in addition to the rim of the wheel, and that’s very neat to see,” says Karl Gordon on the Area Telescope Science Institute in Maryland. “It’s telling us there’s plenty of star formation occurring, perhaps much more than we thought.”

This picture additionally revealed a area of star formation on the backside proper of the galaxy that’s a lot brighter than researchers anticipated. As they proceed to analyse the picture, they are going to achieve extra perception into how the Cartwheel galaxy is evolving and what it would appear to be sooner or later because the aftermath of its titanic collision settles down.

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