Webb telescope brings into view a once hazy galaxy
Side-by-side photos of the the dwarf galaxy Wolf-Lundmark-Melotte, created by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and the Webb Space Telescope Reveal the Impressive resolution offered by the newer telescope.
Wolf-Lundmark-Melotte is an isolated dwarf galaxy about 3 million light years from the Milky Way and about 10 times smaller. Its galactic halo is about 8,000 light-years across and is believed to be quite old. It was first discovered in October 1909, although it was not identified as a galaxy until some 20 years later.
utilities, webb helps us see the dwarf galaxy like never before. In addition to the Spitzer telescope’s view of the galaxy, Webb’s ability to resolve very faint light sources is apparent.
webb launched from French Guiana in December 2021 and traveled a million miles to its observation point in space. The accurate launch of the telescope the expected lifespan of the mission quadrupled, meaning we could see the telescope working until 2040. (The Hubble telescope was expect to work for about 15 years when it was launched in 1990; 32 years later it’s still going powerfuldespite some glitches.)
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Webb’s large mirror and state-of-the-art instrumentation means it can see fainter and more distant light than any space telescope before it. Among its research targets are exoplanets, objects within our solar system, and the universe’s earliest galaxies and stars. So far, the telescope’s science images have been spellbinding.
The newest image is no different. It shows countless light sources from a portion of the dwarf galaxy. The Webb image was taken by its Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam) and includes light from four of the telescope’s filters; the Spitzer image includes light in two filters. You can also see the NIRCam image on its own herecomplete with a dramatic zoom in.
It is the second time that a Webb image has been released alongside an older image by spitzer. The first was a comparison of the two observatories images of the Large Magellanic Cloud, taken by Webb’s MIRI instrument and Spitzer’s Infrared Array Camera. The same camera aboard Spitzer was used to capture the above image of the dwarf galaxy.
The Magellanic Cloud images were also not in color; Webb’s first color images were: released with much fanfare on July 12th. Rather, the images from the cloud were an opportunity to show off Webb’s remarkable alignment.
You can use this to check in at Webb handy Twitter bot That keeps track of what the telescope observes in real time.
More: Webb Telescope Shows the Pillars of Creation Like You’ve Never Seen Them Before
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