James Webb captures the blurry ‘ghost galaxy’ clearly

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST, ‘Web’), which released its first mysterious image last week, continues to send data back to Earth after overcoming the adversity of a micrometeorite impact.

It is not processed like the first public image. Instead, NASA makes some of the raw data available to other experts through the portal Mickelsky Space Telescope Archives (MAST), operated by the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScl). MAST stores public data from 16 telescopes, including Hubble and Spitzer, in addition to the Web.

This data is from spiral galaxy Messier 74 (M74, NGC628) in the constellation Pisces, 30 million light-years from Earth. It is also called a ‘ghost galaxy’ because it has a lower brightness than other galaxies and is difficult to observe.

Gabriel Brammer, astronomer at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and Dr. Judy Schmidt, a researcher at Fangs Survey who studies data on the web, processed the data captured by MIRI on the web and posted it on their social networking service (SNS).

M74 comparison taken by Spitzer and James Webb.  Photo = NASA/JPL-Caltech/Gabriel Brammer

Prof. Bramer explained that the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) molecules emitted radiation and processed the image into a purple color. Compared to the M74 image of the now decommissioned Spitzer telescope, the excellent Webb performance can be confirmed.

M74 comparison taken by Hubble and James Webb.  Photo = NASA/JPL-Caltech/Judy Schmidt

Dr. Schmidt processed the data with a color similar to that of Hubble and compared them side by side. Hubble scatters interstellar dust beautifully, while Webb captures each dust more clearly.

Jupiter photographed by James Webb.  Photo = NASA/ESA/CSA/STSci/Judy Schmidt

Meanwhile, Dr. Schmidt also reprocessed and released a photo of Jupiter captured by the Web. Like Saturn, Jupiter also has rings, which are so faint that they have not been easily detected by space telescopes. Images taken by Webb include Jupiter’s rings as well as the Earth-sized vortex Great Red Spot and satellites such as Europa, Thebes, Metis and Adrastea.

The super-large space telescope, created by NASA in cooperation with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) with a development cost of more than $10 billion (about 13 trillion won), performed the Lagrange 2 (L2) observation mission 1.6 million km from Earth. are doing

On the 12th, the first image was officially released. It is difficult to compare absolute performance with the Hubble Telescope, which has been active for 30 years, but it is clear that the Webb Telescope can observe even fainter light.

The SMACS 0723 galaxy cluster, photographed by Hubble (left) and James Webb.  Photo = NASA/ESA/CSA/STScI
The Carina Nebula imaged by Hubble (above) and James Webb.  Photo = NASA/ESA/CSA/STScI
The Southern Ring Nebula imaged by Hubble (left) and James Webb.  Photo = NASA/ESA/CSA/STScI
Hubble (left) and James Webb are the Stephan's quintuple galaxies.  Photo = NASA/ESA/CSA/STScI

Reporter Seo Hee-won ([email protected])

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