Mergers and Acquisitions

As the two spiral galaxies in Apr 220 collide, they’re glowing in infrared with the light of more than a trillion suns. The merger of the galaxies has ignited a tremendous burst of star birth, and each galactic core is surrounded by a star-forming ring JWST has captured in infrared.

Image Credits: NASA / ESA / CSA / STScI / Alyssa Pagan (STScI)

Hubble v. JWST

These two images are of the same part of the sky. The image on the left is from the original Hubble Ultra Deep Field observation. JWST’s Near-Infrared Camera took the image on the right. Hubble’s observation with its Wide Field Camera 3, required an exposure time of 11.3 days. The JWST image only took 0.83 days. Several areas within the Webb image reveal previously invisible, red galaxies. You can download the full resolution from the Space Telescope Science Institute.

Image Credit: NASA / ESA / CSA / Joseph DePasquale (STScI).

Zooming into Cas A

This video zooms in to a JWST view of Cassiopeia A (Cas A), a supernova remnant located about 11,000 light-years away.

Video Credits: NASA / ESA / CSA / D. Milisavljevic (Purdue University) / T. Temim (Princeton University) ‘ I. De Looze (UGent) ‘ J. DePasquale (STScI) / ESA/Hubble / E. Slawik, N. Risinger, D. de Martin, N. Bartmann, and M. Zimani (ESA/Webb) Music Credit: Tonelabs – The Red North (
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Zooming in on a Gravitational Lens

Galaxy cluster SDSS J1226+2149 is around 6.3 billion light-years away. The final image in this animation was capture by JWST’s NIRCam and shows more distant galaxies. The long, bright, and distorted arc spreading out near the core is one such example, a distant galaxy known as the Cosmic Seahorse,

Video Credit: ESA / NASA / CSA / J. Rigby
Music Credit: Tonelabs—The Red North (
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JWST’s IR View of NGC 1433

The James Webb Space Telescope is giving high resolution view into the fine structure of nearby galaxies and how the formation of young stars affects that structure. NGC 1433 is a barred spiral galaxy with a particularly bright core surrounded by a pair of star forming rings. In this image of NGC 1433, blue, green, and red were assigned to Webb’s MIRI data at 7.7, 10 and 11.3, and 21 µm.

Image Credits: NASA / ESA / CSA / J. Lee (NOIRLab).
Image processing: A. Pagan (STScI)

NGC 7469

This JWST image is of NGC 7469, a luminous, face-on spiral galaxy approximately 90,000 light-years in diameter that’s around 220 million light-years away. It contgains an active galactic nucleus (AGN), an extremely bright central region dominated by the light emitted by dust and gas falling into the galaxy’s central black hole. The six-pointed spikes that seem to align with center of the galaxy are an imaging artifact known as a diffraction spike. Diffraction spikes are caused by light bending around the sharp edges int optical path of a telescope.

Video: ESA / NASA / CSA
Music: Stellardrone – Twilight
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Sharper Vision

This animation toggles between 2022 James Webb Space Telescope images and 2012 Hubble Space Telescope images of galaxy cluster MACS0647 and the very distant galaxy MACS0647-JD. JWST reveals far more detail than Hubble. Webb detects many more galaxies in the MACS0647 cluster. The three images of MACS0647-JD from JWST show two different features that are not the same color, with the larger area appearing redder and the smaller one appearing bluer. The Hubble images show only a single, pale, red, pixelated dot.

Video Credit: NASA / ESA / CSA /STScI

The Pillars of Creation: Hubble v. Webb

The Hubble Space Telescope’s 1995 image of the Pillars of Creation is one of the most well known astronomical pictures. It was updated in 2014 with a sharper, wider view taken in visible light; that’s shown on the left. The new, near-infrared-light view from the James Webb Space Telescope on the right cuts through more of the dust in this star-forming region. The  dusty pillars aren’t as opaque to infrared light, so many more new red stars can be seen.

Image Credits: NASA / ESA / CSA / STScI

Jupiter in Infrared

This false color view from the JWST’s NIRCam instrument’s 2.12 micron filter shows the distinct bands that encircle Jupiter and the planet’s Great Red Spot. The iconic spot appears white in this image because of the way the infrared image was processed. The moon Europa is visible on the left, and its shadow can be seen to the left of the Great Red Spot.

Image Credit: NASA / ESA / CSA/ STScI

The Southern Ring Nebula

The NIRCam and MIRI instruments aboard the James Webb Space Telescope captured the data used to create these false color infrared images of this planetary nebula NGC 3132 (aka the Southern Ring Nebula).

The near infrared (NIRCam) image is on the left. The mid infrared (MIRI) image is on the right, and it is the first ever to resolve both stars of the binary pair at the center of the nebula.

Image Credit: NASA / ESA /CSA / STScI

Stephen’s Quintet in a New Light

Here’s the image of Stephen’s Quintet that was released as one to the first JWST images yesterday. It’s a false color image assembled from infrared data from the MIRI andNIRSpec instruments.

Image Credit: NASA / ESA / CSA / STScI

Here’s how Hubble sees the same view in visible light.Stephan's_Quintet

Image Credit: STScI

Stephan’s Quintet in the constellation Pegasus is a visual grouping of five galaxies. These galaxies are of interest because of their violent collisions. Four of the five galaxies in Stephan’s Quintet form a physical association, Hickson Compact Group 92, and are involved in a cosmic dance that most likely will end with the galaxies merging.

Bennu’s Topography

This three-dimensional view of near Earth asteroid Bennu was created by the Canadian Space Agency’s Laser Altimeter aboard NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. The colors represent the distance from the center of Bennu: dark blue areas lie about 60 meters below the peaks indicated in red. Because some parts of the asteroid have not yet been measured, there are gaps in the image.

Credits: NASA / University of Arizona / CSA /York / MDA