Home Science and Nature Webb Snaps Breathtaking New Image of NGC 1559

Webb Snaps Breathtaking New Image of NGC 1559

by News7

The NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope has captured a new photo of the barred spiral galaxy NGC 1559.

This Webb image shows NGC 1559, a barred spiral galaxy some 32 million light-years away in the constellation of Reticulum. Image credit: NASA / ESA / CSA / Webb / A. Leroy / J. Lee / PHANGS Team.

NGC 1559 is located approximately 32 million light-years away in the southern constellation of Reticulum.

Also known as LEDA 14814, ESO 84-10 and IRAS 04170-6253, the galaxy was discovered by the Scottish astronomer James Dunlop in 1826.

NGC 1559 has massive spiral arms chock-full of star formation, and is receding from us at a speed of about 1,300 km/s.

It contains a mass of around 10 billion solar masses — while this may sound like a lot, that is almost 100 times less massive than our Milky Way Galaxy.

“NGC 1559 has massive spiral arms that abound with star formation, and it is receding from us at a speed of about 1,300 km/sec,” the Webb astronomers said.

“Although NGC 1559 appears to sit near one of our nearest neighbors in the sky, the Large Magellanic Cloud, this is just a trick of perspective.”

“In reality, NGC 1559 is physically nowhere near the Large Magellanic Cloud in space; in fact it truly is a loner, lacking the company of any nearby galaxies or membership of any galaxy cluster.”

The image of NGC 1559 is made up of observations from two of Webb’s instruments: the Mid-InfraRed Instrument (MIRI) and Near-InfraRed Camera (NIRCam).

“Here MIRI captures the glow of interstellar dust grains, which trace out the interstellar medium, the fuel for future star formation,” the astronomers explained.

“NIRCam shows the light from stars, even young stars hidden behind prodigious amounts of dust.”

“This instrument also captures emission from ionized nebulae around young stars.”

The image of NGC 1559 was captured by the PHANGS team as part of an observing program in which Webb will observe 55 galaxies that have also been mapped by the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and more.

“By combining Webb’s unprecedented view of the dust and stars with data from these other facilities, we aim to obtain a new, highly detailed view of how stars are born, live, and die in galaxies across the Universe,” the researchers said.

“This is also a Treasury program, which means that the data will have no exclusive access period and so the scientific community (and others, including the general public) can access the data immediately.”

“This has the advantage that more research can be done with the data more quickly.”

Source : Breaking Science News

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