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A new image from the James Webb Space Telescope reveals the beautiful chaos of two galaxies merging.
Vice President Kamala Harris and French President Emmanuel Macron said in new images on the web, pillar of creation It was taken by the Space Observatory during a visit to NASA headquarters in Washington on Wednesday.
Known as II ZW 96, the two galaxies lie in the constellation Delphinus about 500 million light-years from Earth. The dots of light in the background of the image represent other distant galaxies.
The swirling shapes of the two galaxies were created when they began to merge, disrupting their individual shapes. A galaxy merger occurs when two or more galaxies collide in space.
A bright star-forming region glows at the center of the image, and the spiral arms of the lower galaxies are twisted by the gravitational pull of the merger.
Stars form when clouds of gas and dust collapse in galaxies. As galaxies merge, more star formation is triggered. Astronomers want to know why.
Bright regions of star birth are of interest to astronomers using Webb because they appear even brighter when viewed in the infrared.
Infrared is invisible to the human eye, but Webb’s ability allows him to spy on previously unseen aspects of the universe.
Both Webb’s near-infrared camera and mid-infrared instrument were used to capture new images.
Astronomers use observatories to study how galaxies evolve. In particular, we study why bright infrared galaxies like II ZW 96 shine brightly in the infrared, reaching luminosities more than 100 billion times greater than her Sun.
The researchers used Webb’s instrument to probe the galactic merger, including II ZW 96, in detail and compared it to images previously taken by ground-based telescopes and the Hubble Space Telescope. Combining these observations can reveal a more complete picture of how galaxies change over time.