Never before have we been able to see the universe as the James Webb telescope is showing it to us now.
Our naked eye could never see what the telescope sees: traveling through light and space, James Webb can see the origins of the universe, something our minds can hardly begin to comprehend.
Working like a time machine, the first images shared by this powerful telescope on July 12 showed us distant galaxies, dying stars and the atmospheres of planets outside our solar system.
The latest image shared by the James Webb telescope on August 2 takes a step further in our understanding of the universe, showing us what happens after two galaxies collide.
Looking through the cosmic dust created by the collision with its infrared cameras, the telescope gave us a picture of how the Cartwheel Galaxy is changing after a collision with another, smaller galaxy billions of years ago years.
Scientists think that the Cartwheel Galaxy, a ringed galaxy more than 500 million light-years away from our planet that gets its name from its bright inner ring and colorful outer ring, was once part of a large spiral like the Milky Way, before another galaxy crossed it. .
The entire appearance of the galaxy, which reminded scientists of a wagon wheel, is due to that high-speed collision, according to NASA. From the center of the collision, the two rings of the galaxy have been expanding outwards, creating this rare ringed shape.
What James Webb can see in the Cartwheel Galaxy
Never before have scientists been able to clearly see the chaos of the Chariot Wheel galaxy and make sense of it.
The Hubble Space Telescope had already looked at the galaxy, but the amount of dust surrounding the Cartwheel Galaxy prevented the telescope from observing the phenomena taking place in the galaxy.
But now, thanks to the infrared cameras on the James Webb Telescope, scientists are able to peer into the bright center of the galaxy.
To do this, an image is created by combining Webb’s Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) and Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI), which are able to see through dust and reveal wavelengths of light impossible to observe in visible light conditions.
The resulting image shows the formation of stars after the collision of galaxies, a process that is not yet fully understood.
The bright core at the center of the galaxy contains hot dust, NASA says, and the brightest areas are home to gigantic young star clusters.
What can be seen in the outer ring, on the other hand, is the formation of new stars.
The Cartwheel Galaxy is still undergoing change and will continue to transform, promising to reveal more secrets about how galaxies evolve over time, even though it may take billions of years.
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