James Webb telescope takes another spectacular photo, captures spiral galaxy 1 billion light years away from Earth

February 2, 2023  18:39

The James Webb Space Telescope, a joint project of the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), has helped scientists create another spectacular wide-angle image showing many distant galaxies and bright stars

As Esawebb.org informs, the main target of the study was the spiral galaxy named LEDA 2046648, which can be seen in the lower part of the photo. This galaxy is located in the Hercules constellation, more than 1 billion light years from Earth. The photo also shows that there are many other galaxies next to this galaxy. The spiral structure of some of them is clearly visible, while others are expressed as bright spots against the dark background of space.

This published photo was taken as part of the study conducted with the Near-InfraRed Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (NIRISS) devices that are part of the James Webb telescope. In addition, this telescope's Near-InfraRed Camera (NIRCam) was used.

LEDA 2046648.jpg (168 KB) 
One of the main goals of the James Webb telescope sent into space on December 25, 2021 is to study distant galaxies; this will help scientists learn more about their history and evolution.

The ability to shoot in the infrared range will enable to obtain information about the past of distant space objects, as the light coming from them is deflected into infrared waves. Ultimately, scientists hope to obtain more data about how distant galaxies have formed and acquired the structure they are able to study today.

James Webb's mission is also to analyze the chemical composition of thousands of galaxies to find out how heavy elements have formed and accumulated during the development of galaxies.

The James Webb Space Telescope recently experienced an outage, as its NIRISS stopped working. On January 15, when the specialists tried to establish contact with the device, it was not connected.

On January 30, NASA confirmed that the problem has already been fixed. After investigating the incident, teams from NASA and CSA concluded that the malfunction was caused by cosmic radiation from outside the solar system.

The NASA and CSA experts “analyzed all possible methods to safely recover the electronics,” had said Julie Van Campen, Webb Integrated Science Instrument Module (ISIM) systems engineer at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “We are now happy to report that Webb’s NIRISS instrument is back online, and is performing optimally.”

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