Recently, NASA shared a stunning image of the Cartwheel galaxy captured by its powerful James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). A new video shared by the European Space Agency (ESA) shows the telescope peering into the Cartwheel galaxy, aka ring galaxy, which lies about 500 million light-years away in the Sculptor constellation.
Check out this short video that takes you on a journey that zooms through space to reveal the Cartwheel Galaxy.
Video Credit: ESA/Webb, NASA, CSA, STScI, Dark Energy Survey/DOE/FNAL/DECam/CTIO/NOIRLab/NSF/AURA, E. Slawik, N. Risinger, N. Bartmann
The composite image at the end of the video was captured using Webb’s Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam) and the Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI). It provides a snapshot of the current state of the galaxy.
Get ready for a journey through space 🤸♀️! In this short video, we zoom through space to the Cartwheel Galaxy, 500 million light-years away. At the end of the clip, you can see this new composite image by #Webb‘s #NIRCam and #MIRI. pic.twitter.com/CzrxLLfQHg
The Cartwheel galaxy looks like the wheel of a wagon and is the result of an intense event – a high-speed collision between a large spiral galaxy and a smaller galaxy. Before its collision, the galaxy was presumably a normal spiral galaxy like our Milky Way.
It sports two rings – a bright inner ring and a surrounding, colorful ring – which expand outwards from the center of the collision, like ripples in a pond after a stone is tossed into it.
The galaxy’s bright core hosts an active galactic nucleus, which is a supermassive black hole surrounded by a tremendous amount of gas and hot dust. On the other hand, the outer ring is dominated by star formation and supernovas. As this ring expands, it plows into surrounding gas and triggers star formation.