The James Webb telescope has shown another image of the universe, this time from IC 1623, a pair of intertwined galaxies interacting and that it is located about 270 million light-years from Earth, in the constellation Cetus.
These two galaxies are racing toward each other in a process known as galaxy mergers; their collision has set off a frenzied wave of star formation known as a starburst creating new stars at speeds more than twenty times faster than the Milky Way, the European Space Agency (ESA) explains on its website.
This system is especially bright at infrared wavelengths, making it “a perfect testing ground” for Webb’s ability to study luminous galaxiesand it is possible that these merging galaxies are in the process of forming a supermassive black hole.
To capture this new image, the James Webb Telescope’s MIRI, NIRSpec and NIRCam instruments were used.
Thanks to this, a large amount of data has been obtained that will allow the astronomical community to fully investigate how “Unknown possibilities” van de Webb will help unravel the complex interactions in the galactic ecosystems, continues the ESA, who together with the American space agency NASA and the Canadian CSA made this telescope possible.
The merger of these two galaxies has long interested astronomers and the system has already been observed by Hubble and other space telescopes.
The “valuable data” now reached was blocked by a thick dust lane for telescopes like Hubble; Webb’s infrared sensitivity and “impressive resolution” at those wavelengths have made it possible to see beyond the dust.
“This has resulted in the spectacular image,” the data of which has been published in the Astrophysical Journal.