James Webb Telescope Reveals Terrifying Purple Galactic Swirl
The wonders that keep coming out of the James Webb Space Telescope they continue to give us stunning glimpses into a whole new universe, practically. The Telescope’s new image now shows the dusty skeleton of the distant galaxy NGC 628 in a striking purple color that looks like something out of the movies.
“This is a galaxy that probably looks a lot like what we think our own Milky Way is,” said Gabriel Brammer, an astronomer at the Cosmic Dawn Center at the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen. He shared the image on Twitter and commented, “You can see all these knots of individual stars forming, individual supernovae going off and you really study that in detail.”
The spiral arms of NGC 628 have been photographed before, but images of the galaxy taken in visible light by the Hubble Space Telescope look nothing like the purple spiral structure seen in Webb’s mid-infrared image..
“You look at this galaxy with Hubble or ground-based telescopes,” Dr. Brammer commented, “and you see blue stars, you see red stars, you see spiral arms, you see dust lanes.” The expert explained that “in the mid-infrared, what you actually see is the opposite of that, where that dust is no longer absorbed; in fact, we directly observe that dust that now shines, because the dust itself is what emits. We actually see an image of the gas and dust in this galaxy, rather than the stars”.
Webb, in fact, took the image of NGC 628 on July 17 and beamed it back to Earth.where it was recorded in the MAST (Barbara Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes), which is where the data is available to everyone, including the public.
The telescope has hardly been idle after taking the first images of the deep universe that NASA revealed on July 12, and it continuously takes images and places them in the MAST archive, according to Dr. Brammer.
“We’ve waited for Webb in some cases for decades and we’ve all been, without much sleep for the last week looking at and looking at as many different images of Webb as we can.”, said Dr. Brammer. “Everything is very spectacular.”