M74, or the Phantom Galaxy, is located approximately 32 million light years from Earth in the constellation of Pisces.
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The James Webb Space Telescope continues to show us the universe as we have never seen it before. Launched into space in late 2021 and operational since July, it has captured new details of a galaxy, M74, also called the Ghost Galaxy. Its bright blue heart and flawless spiral were observed by the Miri instrument, the result of a collaboration between Europeans and Americans, which studies the mid-infrared. The result is a spectacular image released on Monday 29 August by the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA.
“Webb’s piercing gaze revealed fine filaments of gas and dust in the spiral-shaped luminous arms that fan out from the center of this image.”notes the ESA on its website (link in English)which specifies that the galaxy had already been observed by the legendary Hubble Space Telescope, launched in 1990 and still in operation.
Feast your eyes on the stunning spiral structure of the Phantom Galaxy, M74, as seen by Webb in the mid-infrared. Delicate filaments of dust and gas wind outward from the center of the galaxy, which has a star-forming ring around its core. https://t.co/pPVvxsC6KA pic.twitter.com/JQ2C9Wf19f
– NASA Webb Telescope (@NASAWebb) August 30, 2022
The European Agency also notes that a “lack of gas” provides a clearer view of the stars at the center of this galaxy, located approximately 32 million light-years away in the constellation of Pisces.
The data collected “It will allow astronomers to identify the regions of the galaxy where stars are forming, accurately measure the mass and age of star clusters, and better understand the nature of the tiny specks of dust moving in interstellar space”also notes the ESA.
A $ 10 billion engineering gem, the James Webb Telescope makes its observations 1.5 million kilometers from Earth. On Thursday 25 August, researchers announced that they had detected, for the first time, the presence of CO2 in the atmosphere of an exoplanet, that is, a planet outside our solar system.