Webb Telescope Captures Countless Galaxies in New Image

The distant spiral galaxy LEDA 2046648.

The European Space Agency posted their January Picture of the Month, and it’s (perhaps unsurprisingly) a stunning shot from the Webb Space Telescope.

Pictured below is LEDA 2046648, a spiral galaxy in the constellation of Hercules, more than a billion light-years from Earth. Behind LEDA is a field of more distant galaxies ranging from spiral shapes to pinpoints of light in the distant Universe.

Webb started from French Guiana in December 2021; his scientific observations of the cosmos began in July. Webb got an idea distant galaxies, exoplanets, and even shed new light on worlds in our local solar system.

Although this The image was just released and was taken during the commissioning process for one of Webb’s instruments, the Near-Infrared Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (NIRISS), according to an ESA release. While NIRISS was focused on a white dwarf – the core remnant of a star – Webb’s near-infrared camera (NIRCam) focused on LEDA 2046648 and its surroundings in the night sky.

One of Webb’s main goalsThe view into the distant universe serves to better understand how the first stars and galaxies were formed. To this end, the telescope views some of the oldest lights in the Universe, primarily through its NIRCam and MIRI instruments.

The image contains hundreds of light sources that our eyes can perceive, but the infrared data from which the image was formed sure records many more galaxies.

Webbs Deep field images is what allows scientists to see some of the oldest lights in the universe, often benefiting from gravitational lensing (the magnification of distant light due to the gravitational distortion of spacetime) to see particularly ancient sources.

While not deep field, this image of LEDA 2046648 evokes a similar feeling: awe at the vastness of the cosmos and (albeit briefly) the realization that our minds can only grasp a fraction of it it.

More: Zoom in on the Webb Telescope’s largest image yet

https://gizmodo.com/webb-telescope-captures-countless-galaxies-in-new-image-1850055190 Webb Telescope Captures Countless Galaxies in New Image

Zack Zwiezen

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