Cartwheel Galaxy's new image reveals spinning ring of colour in unprecedented clarity

Edited By: Vyomica Berry
Paris, France Updated: Aug 02, 2022, 11:49 PM(IST)

A large pink, speckled galaxy resembling a wheel with a small, inner oval, with dusty blue in between on the right, with two smaller spiral galaxies about the same size to the left against a black background. Photograph:( Twitter )

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Peering through time and huge amounts of dust, the Webb telescope has a far greater reach in comparison to the Hubble telescope which had previously captured images of the rare ring galaxy

US space agency NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) said Tuesday that an image of the Cartwheel Galaxy captured by the James Webb Space Telescope reveals the spinning ring of colour in unprecedented clarity.

Peering through time and huge amounts of dust, the Webb telescope has a far greater reach in comparison to the Hubble telescope which had previously captured images of the rare ring galaxy.

During a spectacular head-on collision between two galaxies, the Cartwheel, which is located around 500 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Sculptor, gained its shape.

As per a joint statement by NASA and the ESA, the impact sent two rings expanding from the galaxy's centre.

The statement added that the outer ring has been expanding into the universe for around 440 million years, while a smaller white ring remains closer to the galaxy's centre.

Sparking the formation of new stars, the outer ring, with its spokes of colour, expands as it runs into gas.

NASA and the ESA believe that Webb was able to capture the image without obscuring the view of the Cartwheel Galaxy due to its ability to detect infrared light that allowed it to see through the "tremendous amount of hot dust".

Revealing new details about the behaviour of the supermassive black hole at its heart, it was also able to detect regions rich in hydrocarbons and other chemicals.

While even more galaxies can be seen behind them, two smaller galaxies shine brightly behind the Cartwheel and show that it is still in the "very transitory stage".

(With inputs from agencies)

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