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NASA has released a new image taken by the James Webb Space Telescope of the Cartwheel galaxy, which collided 400 million years ago.

NASA has just released another breathtaking image captured by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). The image depicts the Cartwheel galaxy, which is located in the Sculptor constellation about 500 million light-years away. According to NASA, the Cartwheel galaxy is an extremely rare sight, but Webb’s infrared capabilities allowed it to peer through the galaxy’s chaotic and dense dust cloud.

According to NASA, this is a composite image created with Webb’s Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam) and the Mid-Infrared instrument (MIRI). Aside from the massive structure, the image also includes two smaller companion galaxies against a background of numerous other galaxies.

Webb provides a previously unseen view of the obscured galaxy.

The Hubble Space Telescope had previously observed the Cartwheel galaxy, but the thick dust surrounding the galaxy prevented scientists from getting a closer look at the prominent features.

Before colliding with a smaller galaxy 400 million years ago, it was an average spiral galaxy, according to NASA. The shape and structure of the galaxy, which has a large colourful ring surrounding a dense and bright inner ring, are proof of the collision. According to astronomers, these rings are expanding outward from the collision’s centre, giving rise to the term “ring galaxy.”

The galaxy’s core is densely packed with hot dust, and its brightest regions are home to massive young star clusters, whereas the outer ring is dominated by star formation and supernovae, and has been expanding for about 440 million years.

NASA explained that the NIRCam data in this image are coloured blue, orange, and yellow, and the blue dots are individual stars or pockets of star formation. The image (below) from MIRI data shows regions within the Cartwheel Galaxy that are rich in hydrocarbons and other chemical compounds, as well as silicate dust, which is similar to much of the dust on Earth. According to scientists, this galaxy will continue to evolve as a result of the massive collision, and Webb’s observations will reveal information about its future.

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