19 Breathtaking Images of Galaxies Captured by the James Webb Space Telescope

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has captured images of 19 nearby spiral galaxies, revealing complex details of their structure. The images, obtained by JWST’s NIRCam and MIRI instruments, depict glowing gas and star clusters within the galaxies. Furthermore, they provide intricate details of the galaxies’ spiral arms and filaments of gas in the interstellar material. The findings, which were published in The Astronomical Journal in December 2023, have been described as extraordinary and mind-blowing by researchers.

An interesting aspect of the study was the discovery that the shape and width of gas remained similar in the outer parts of galaxies, irrespective of the center’s appearance. Researchers from Ohio State, who analyzed the images, suggested that this uniformity across galaxies could indicate a universal process in star and planet formation.

The images form part of the PHANGS-JWST Cycle 1 Treasury, a survey aimed at understanding galaxy evolution. The team used the images to map out the dust emission in each galaxy, providing insights into how galaxies may distribute their gas and dust.

The 19 galaxies captured in the images are located near the Milky Way Galaxy. Their study might help researchers understand how dust is distributed within each galaxy and the role it plays in star and planet formation. The galaxies each have unique characteristics, such as the NGC 1365, a double-barred spiral galaxy twice the size of the Milky Way, or the NGC 1300, a barred spiral galaxy with arms that do not spiral back toward the center.

The James Webb Space Telescope, a joint project of NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), is a revolutionary observatory designed to answer fundamental questions about the universe. It has been operating since 2021 and is expected to provide unprecedented data about the universe for years to come.

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