Webb Captures Two Galaxies, Star-Forming Nebula, and Star Cluster
This composite image features four separate images that combine X-ray data from Chandra and infrared data from Webb, and some data from other telescopes like Hubble, Spitzer and XMM-Newton. Image credit: NASA / CXC / SAO / ESA / XMM-Newton / CSA / STScI / JPL / CalTech / ESO / L. Frattare / J. Major / K. Arcand.
Each image combines infrared data from both Webb and NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope; X-rays from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and ESA’s XMM-Newton; and optical data from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and ESO’s New Technology Telescope.
In regions close to their centers, the arms of barred spiral galaxies are mostly in a straight band of stars across the center that encloses the core, as opposed to other spirals that have arms that twist all the way to their core.
“The Chandra data reveal compact objects like neutron stars or black holes pulling material from companion stars as well as the remnants of exploded stars,” NASA astronomers said.
“Additional data from Hubble help fill out the spiral arms with dust and gas, while Webb data show dust and gas in the galaxy’s spiral arms.”
This spiral galaxy was discovered in September 1780 by the French astronomer Pierre Méchain.
Also known as the Phantom Galaxy, M74, NGC 628, LEDA 5974 and HIPASS J0136+15, Messier 74 has a diameter of 95,000 light-years.
Messier 74 is a particular class of spiral galaxy known as a grand design spiral, meaning that its spiral arms are prominent and well-defined, unlike the patchy and ragged structure seen in some spiral galaxies.
The galaxy is the brightest member of the M74 Group, a group of several spiral and irregular galaxies.
“Webb outlines gas and dust in the infrared while Chandra data spotlight high-energy activity from stars at X-ray wavelengths,” the astronomers said.
“Hubble optical data showcase additional stars and dust along the dust lanes.”
Also known as the Eagle Nebula, it is a famous region of the sky often referred to as the Pillars of Creation.
“The Webb image shows the dark columns of gas and dust shrouding the few remaining fledgling stars just being formed,” the researchers said.
“The Chandra sources, which look like dots, are young stars that give off copious amounts of X-rays.”
It resides in the Small Magellanic Cloud, a dwarf galaxy that is a satellite of our Milky Way Galaxy.
Also known as ESO 51-10, Kron 39 or Lindsay 60, it was discovered on August 1, 1826 by the Scottish astronomer James Dunlop.
NGC 346 has a diameter of 150 light-years and a mass of 50,000 solar masses.
Its intriguing shape and rapid star formation rate have puzzled astronomers for years.
“Webb shows plumes and arcs of gas and dust that stars and planets use as source material during their formation,” the scientists said.
“The purple cloud on the left seen with Chandra is the remains of a supernova explosion from a massive star.”
“The Chandra data also reveal young, hot, and massive stars that send powerful winds outward from their surfaces.”
Source: Sci News