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View the amazing cosmological reach of the James Webb Space Telescope (video)

Zoom in to see the incredible Cartwheel Galaxy, which is 500 million light-years away from us

It’s time to take a deep dive into the universe.

In a brand-new film, the James Webb Space Telescope partnership takes viewers on an incredible zoom-in through stars and other objects to reach the stunning Cartwheel Galaxy.

With the aid of Webb’s infrared observations, researchers are able to discern starbirth and clusters of young stars encircling a core supermassive black hole through the region’s obscuring dust.

James Webb Space Telelscope’s MIRI camera reveals areas rich in hydrocarbons and silicate dust. (Image credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI)

European Space Agency (ESA) representatives captioned the video with the statement, “Webb’s observations catch Cartwheel in a highly transitional stage,” on Monday (Aug. 8).

The Cartwheel is a ring galaxy, which is a unique type of galaxy, and is located around 500 million light-years from our planet. According to scientists, the Cartwheel was once a spiral galaxy similar to our Milky Way, but a catastrophe some 700 million to 800 million years ago changed the course of the galaxy’s evolution.

Two rings were produced by the collision, most likely with a smaller galaxy. The galactic region’s dust and gas are being expelled by the outer ring, which is causing star formation. The galaxy itself is encircled by the other ring.

Given these two opposing forces, “the form that the Cartwheel Galaxy will ultimately adopt is still a mystery,” ESA officials said. However, this picture offers insight into the galaxy’s past events and potential future developments.

Even though the observatory has only been fully operating for a few weeks, Webb has already explored a large portion of the cosmos. The $10 billion telescope was put into operation on December 25, 2021, and its commissioning phase ended last month.

The photos it has captured thus far include the deepest perspective of the cosmos, the “Phantom Galaxy,” and a glimpse of the furthest star we have ever seen, which is dubbed Earendel in a “Lord of the Rings” allusion.

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