This image from the James Webb Space Telescope depicts the barred spiral galaxy NGC 5068, which is comprised of a beautiful tapestry of dust and brilliant stars. It is approximately 17 million light-years away from Earth in the constellation Virgo, and its “bar” is visible in this image’s upper left corner.
The European Space Agency released the image on Friday as part of a campaign to amass astronomical treasures. This treasure trove is a repository of data on star formation in relatively nearby galaxies, as described by ESA.
Such observations are extremely beneficial for astronomers. This is due to the fact that star formation is the basis of so many astronomical disciplines, from the evolution of entire galaxies to the physics of the plasma that exists between stars.
Webb satellite telescope searches beyond the threshold for a “treasure trove.”
Using Webb data, astronomers observe star formation in nearby galaxies in an effort to initiate significant scientific advances.
The observations made with Webb are an extension of studies conducted with other telescopes, such as the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and some of the most proficient ground-based observatories.
Webb has already captured images of 19 galaxies in the process of forming stars, which astronomers can combine with catalogues from other telescopes. The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) has observations of 12,000 dark, dense molecular clouds.
These observations from various telescopes span nearly the entire electromagnetic spectrum. All of these observations allow astronomers to reconstruct the exact details of star formation.