December 5, 2022

The Phantom Galaxy, M74, which is almost face-on to Earth, has been beautifully captured by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), and it has now been made available to the public in the form of breathtaking photos. Nearly 32 million light-years from Earth, in the constellation Pisces, is where you may find the Phantom Galaxy.

Astronomers love to look at it to try to understand the evolution of galaxies in the cosmos because it virtually faces Earth and has well-defined spiral arms similar to those of our own galaxy, the Milky Way. The James Webb Space Telescope has become as a powerful tool for it.

The spiral arms of the galaxy, which wind outward from the galaxy’s core have been seen by the telescope are fragile filaments of gas and dust. The lack of gas in the nuclear zone allows for an unobstructed view of the nuclear star cluster at the galaxy’s centre.

In an effort to help the international PHANGS team map 19 neighbouring star-forming galaxies in the infrared, JWST employed its Mid-InfraRed Instrument (MIRI) to study the early stages of star formation in the local Universe. These galaxies have already been detected by ground-based observatories and the Hubble Space Telescope, according to a statement from the European Space Agency (ESA).
Longer wavelengths were used by the most powerful observatory in the world, and astronomers are hopeful that this will enable them to locate star-forming galaxies, precisely calculate the masses and ages of star clusters, and learn more about the characteristics of the tiny dust particles that are drifting in interstellar space.

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