Webb Telescope Captures Images of 19 Spiral Galaxies

James Webb Space Telescope photos, which were just made public, reveal 19 spiral galaxies that are comparatively near to our Milky Way. The photos provide fresh insights into the structure, development, and star creation of galaxies.

A group of scientists working on a project named Physics at High Angular resolution in Nearby GalaxieS (PHANGS) released the photos to the public on Monday. The initiative uses a number of significant astronomy observatories.

Among the 19 galaxies, NGC5068 is the nearest. From Earth, it is around 15 million light years away. NGC1365 is the farthest away, situated around 60 million light-years from Earth. The distance that light travels in a year, or around 9.5 trillion kilometers, is called a light year.

Launched in 2021, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) started data collection in 2022. It has taken photographs of space and influenced our knowledge of the early universe.

The space telescope primarily observes the cosmos in the infrared spectrum. Since its launch in 1990 and continued operation today, the Hubble Space Telescope has primarily studied the cosmos in optical and ultraviolet wavelengths.

One typical type of galaxy is the spiral galaxy. One is our Milky Way.

Webb's Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) and Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam) provided the fresh observations. They display millions, if not billions, of individual stars in addition to around 100,000 star clusters.

Astronomer Thomas Williams of the University of Oxford commented, "These data are important as they give us a new view on the earliest phase of star formation." He oversaw the group's processing of the picture data.

Williams went on, "Stars are born deep within dusty clouds that block out light at visible wavelengths, which are the wavelengths that the Hubble Space Telescope can detect, but these clouds light up at the wavelengths that the JWST can detect." We are not very knowledgeable about this stage.

Approximately 50% of spiral galaxies contain a bar, or straight structure, extending from the center. This structure is where the spiral arms attach.

According to Williams, the widely accepted theory states that galaxies develop internally first. They "get bigger and bigger over their lifetimes" in this way.

For the first time, the high-resolution structure of the dust and gas clouds that give rise to stars and planets could be determined by scientists thanks to these photographs.

The photos are located in galaxies that are outside of the Small and Large Magellanic Clouds. The Milky Way is close to the two galaxies.

Hubble's observations are reinforced by Webb's.

Astronomer Erik Rosolowsky works at the University of Alberta in Canada. "We would see the starlight from galaxies using Hubble, but some of the light was blocked by the dust of galaxies," he stated.

"This limitation made it hard to understand some aspects of how a galaxy functions as a system," Rosolowsky continued. We can see through this dust to glimpse stars inside and behind the encasing dust thanks to Webb's infrared vision."