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Business News/ News / World/  NASA's Webb telescope captures ancient galaxies of galactic park: Watch
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NASA's Webb telescope captures ancient galaxies of galactic park: Watch

As part of the assessment exercise of its new instrument, NIRISS, NASA's James Webb space telescope captured a crowded field of galaxies. The image was also featured by a distant ancient galaxy located in Hercules constellation

NASA's James Webb telescope captured the image of crowded field of galaxies. Premium
NASA's James Webb telescope captured the image of crowded field of galaxies.

To explore the origin and evolution of galaxies in space, NASA's James Webb Space Telescope captured a mesmerising image of a large spiral galaxy, LEDA 2046648, situated over a billion light years from Earth in Hercules constellation.

The image of the crowded field of galaxies was chosen as the space agency's picture of the month for January. The image was taken during the instrument calibration exercise, in which the the space agency was testing James Webb Space Telescope's Near-InfraRed Imager and Slitless Spectrograph(NIRISS), as part of its commissioning campaign.

In addition to the image captured by the telescope of these distant galaxies, NASA also released the video of the field of stars and galaxies surrounding the spiral galaxy LEDA 2046648.

"Using images such as this one, scientists can compare galactic “dinosaurs" with modern galaxies. In turn, this helps us learn more about how galaxies evolve — making Webb the ultimate space paleontologist,"tweeted the space agency.

James Webb Space Telescope

The James Webb Space Telescope is working at the Lagrange Point 2 of the Sun-Earth system. According to NASA researchers, one of Webb's principal science goals is to keenly observe distant galaxy in the early universe to find out the process of their evolution, composition and origin.

To do so, NASA scientists will use images captured by James Webb Telescope to compare modern galaxies with ancient galaxies. The comparison between the two will help the scientists in knowing about the growth of these galaxies from their initial phase to what humans see them today. As per the information given on NASA's website, the light emitted from distant galaxies is redshifted towards infrared wavelengths. These wavelengths are hard to capture, and need high power lens.

In addition to exploring the journey of evolution of galaxies, Webb telescope will also conduct research on the chemical composition of thousands of galaxies to understand the formation process of heavy elements that exist today.

What is NASA Webb telescope's NIRISS?

NIRISS is an innovative instrument which works in three different mode to capture images of distant galaxies and find out their features with images. Apart from capturing images, it also collects information that can be used by the scientists to find answer to questions like, does life friendly conditions exist on those distant galaxies.

The instrument has one highly sophisticated camera, NIRCAM and other parallel camera.The Near-InraRed Camera, also known as, NIRCam will be used to acquire deepest infra-red images by detecting light from the ancient galaxies.

Under the commissioning campaign, NIRCam captured the galaxy-studded image, whereas NIRISS collected data of the white dwarf WD1657+343, a well-studied star. The data collected was then compared with the data recovered from other instruments to asses the performance of NIRISS.

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Published: 03 Feb 2023, 11:18 PM IST
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