Researchers collected 19 images of nearby galaxies captured by “James Webb” into a collage

Researchers collected 19 images of nearby galaxies captured by “James Webb” into a collage

The researchers presented a colorful collage of 19 images of nearby spiral galaxies. All of them were imaged using the NIRCam (near-infrared) and MIRI (mid-infrared) instruments on the James Webb Space Telescope. The collage itself is part of the large Phangs (Physics at High Angular resolution in Nearby GalaxieS) project, which involves more than 150 astronomers around the world.

Even before Webb’s launch, PHANGS had in its hands a large set of data obtained by the Hubble Space Telescope, the Multi-Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) spectrograph of the Very Large Telescope (VLT), and the ALMA (Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array) radio telescope. Webb’s data completed the observational picture by adding missing pieces of the puzzle.

  • NIRCam captured millions of stars marked in blue. Some of the stars are located in the spiral arms of galaxies, periodically grouped in clusters, but the majority are concentrated in the cores of galaxies.

  • MIRI highlights the dust, highlighted in orange, and the red stars that are still forming, surrounded by the gas and dust that fuel them.

To their surprise, after receiving the data from “Webb”, the researchers discovered many large “bubbles” in the sleeves. They are probably formed by exploding stars. In addition, the data show that star formation originates in the cores of galaxies and spreads along the arms, spiraling away from the center. The further a star is from the center of the galaxy, the more likely it is to be younger than those closer to the center.

Below are the images separately and a link to the description on the EKA website.

NGC 2835

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NGC 1300

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NGC 3627

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NGC 4303

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NGC 4254

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NGC 1385

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NGC 4321

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NGC 4535

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NGC 628

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NGC 3351

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NGC 1512

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NGC 1672

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NGC 5068

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NGC 1433

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NGC 7496

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NGC 1365

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NGC 1087

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IC 5332

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NGC 1566

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