The dance of merged galaxies captured in the new Webb Telescope image

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The beautiful mess of two merging galaxies shine bright in the latest image captured by the James Webb Space Telescope.

Vice President Kamala Harris and French President Emmanuel Macron saw the new web image, along with a new composite of pillars of creation It was captured by the Space Observatory, during a visit to NASA Headquarters in Washington on Wednesday.

Webb telescope designed for observation Faint distant galaxies And the other worldsIt is an international mission between NASA and its partners, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency.

The pair of galaxies, known as II ZW 96, lie about 500 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Delphinus. The points of light in the background of the image represent other distant galaxies.

The swirling shape of the two galaxies was created when they began to merge, disturbing their individual shapes. Galaxy mergers occur when two or more galaxies collide in space.

Bright regions glow as stars are born in the center of the image, while the spiral arms of the lower galaxy are twisted by the gravity of the merger.

Stars form when clouds of gas and dust collapse within galaxies. When galaxies merge, more star formation is triggered — and astronomers want to know why.

Bright regions of star birth are of interest to astronomers using Webb because they appear brighter when viewed in infrared light.

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While infrared rays are invisible to the human eye, Webb’s capabilities allow her to spy on previously unseen aspects of the universe.

Both a near-infrared webcam and a mid-infrared device were used to capture the new image.

Astronomers use the observatory to study how galaxies evolve and, among other topics, why luminous infrared galaxies like II ZW 96 shine so brightly in infrared light, its luminosity more than 100 billion times that of our sun.

The researchers turned Webb’s tools to merging galaxies, including II ZW 96, to pick out fine details and compare images with those taken previously by ground-based telescopes and the Hubble Space Telescope. Together, the observations can reveal a more complete picture of how galaxies have changed over time.

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