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Business News/ Science / News/  NASA shares image of Cigar Galaxy taken by Hubble and Webb telescope:‘Something strange happened…’

NASA shares image of Cigar Galaxy taken by Hubble and Webb telescope:‘Something strange happened…’

  • The Cigar Galaxy, also known as Messier 82 (M82), has a compact but turbulent environment at its core, which can provide scientists a clearer picture of how stars are born en masse.

The Cigar Galaxy from Hubble and Webb telescopes. Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, Alberto Bolatto (UMD)

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has captured an image showing red glowing gas and dust being cast out from the center of a starburst galaxy known as the Cigar Galaxy.

The Cigar Galaxy, also known as Messier 82 (M82), has a compact but turbulent environment at its core, which can provide scientists a clearer picture of how stars are born en masse.

A team of scientists, led by Alberto Bolatto, captured the image of the core of this starburst galaxy with the JWST’s near-infrared camera (NIRCam) to understand what conditions drive the formation of infant stars.

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In the first look at the image, it seems something strange happened to the starburst galaxy.

A detailed inspection of the new Webb image revealed this red glowing gas and dust is associated with hot plasma.

“M82 has garnered a variety of observations over the years because it can be considered as the prototypical starburst galaxy," Alberto Bolatto, team leader and University of Maryland researcher, said in a statement. “Both Spitzer and Hubble space telescopes have observed this target."

“With the JWST's size and resolution, we can look at this star-forming galaxy and see all of this beautiful new detail," he added.

This starburst galaxy could have been stirred up by a recent pass near its neighbour, large spiral galaxy M81, but this doesn’t explain the source of the red glowing outwardly expanding gas and dust.

Evidence suggests that this material is being driven out by the combined emerging particle winds of many stars, together creating a galactic super wind.

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“This image shows the power of the JWST," team member and University of Arizona scientist Rebecca Levy said in the statement.

“Every single white dot in this image is either a star or a star cluster. We can start to distinguish all of these tiny point sources, which enables us to acquire an accurate count of all the star clusters in this galaxy," she added.

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