The NASA James Webb Space Telescope has taken a stunning image of a perfect spiral galaxy. It has been an object of curiosity for scientists because of a black hole embedded in its heart.
In a massive new development, astronomers around the world have their focused their attention on the new images released by NASA James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). After showcasing the oldest galaxy ever seen, now NASA has released yet another stunning image which has excited both the scientists and enthusiasts alike. Named Messier 74 (also known as NGC 628), it is one of the most perfect examples of a spiral galaxy. Using its NIRcam (Near infrared camera), the JWST has captured this distant galaxy in all its glory, highlighting billions of stars and its two spiral arms. But perhaps what is most curious about this galaxy is the possibility of a black hole at the center of it.
Posting the image on July 22, NASA wrote in its blog post, “Beautiful spiral galaxy Messier 74 (also known as NGC 628) lies some 32 million light-years away toward the constellation Pisces. An island universe of about 100 billion stars with two prominent spiral arms, M74 has long been admired by astronomers as a perfect example of a grand-design spiral galaxy. M74’s central region is brought into a stunning, sharp focus in this recently processed image using publicly available data from the James Webb Space Telescope”.
NASA James Webb Space Telescope captures the perfect spiral galaxy
While it is not the first time we are looking at Messier 74, as Hubble Telescope has taken pictures of the faraway galaxy, the NIRcam and MIRI (Mid-Infrared Instrument) on the JWST has enabled us to see the full range of cosmic dust that surrounds the galaxy and gives it the perfect spiral appearance. Earlier, the spirals of the galaxy were barely visible and it looked like just another regular galaxy.
In the image, the center of the galaxy can be seen shrouded in darkness. Scientists believe that this space could be occupied by an intermediate class black hole. The possibility of a black hole has piqued the curiosity of NASA as the astronomers will not get to make further observations and find out if the spiral appearance of the galaxy is influenced by the black hole or not. If a correlation between the two can be established, it will open the path for scientists to look at many other spiral galaxies with the possibility of black holes.