The appearance of the ‘Wagon Wheel Galaxy’ resembling a round wheel. Provided by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) released a picture of the ‘Wagon Wheel Galaxy’ that resembles a round wheel, photographed by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) on the 2nd (local time). In the photo, the red light and the internal structure were vividly captured. It is a structure that could not be observed with previous space telescopes as it was covered with cosmic dust. It is evaluated that JWST, which started full-scale scientific observation last month, is producing results one after another.
The Wheelbarrow Galaxy is located about 500 million light-years away in the constellation Sculptor. It is a ‘ring galaxy’ with two rings at the center and at the outer edge. Compared to spiral galaxies like our own, ring galaxies are much rarer. Scientists analyze that a large spiral galaxy collides with another galaxy at high speed and then changes its structure and shape, forming a cartwheel shape.
“Analysis of images of the Wheelbarrow Galaxy shows that when a stone falls into a pond, the two rings seem to extend outward like waves spreading out from it,” NASA said. It means that it will continue to change in the future.”
JWST also discovered a galaxy 13.6 billion years ago on the 27th of last month. It broke the record for observing the oldest galaxy 13.5 billion years ago, just one week after the discovery of the galaxy. “We observed the galaxy ‘CEERS-93316’, which existed 235 million years after the Big Bang 13.8 billion years ago,” said Callum Dornan, a researcher at the University of Edinburgh’s Astronomy Research Institute in the UK. Earlier, on the 20th of last month, Swiss and American researchers announced that they had discovered ‘GLASS-z13’, a galaxy 300 million years after the Big Bang through JWST. Scientists expect the JWST to be able to observe the early universe, about 100 million years after the Big Bang.
An image of a wheeled galaxy captured by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2018. Courtesy of NASA