Latest Webb Telescope Images: A Look at Star Formation in the Virgo Constellation

Every few weeks, NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) release impressive images from the James Webb Space Telescope. The latest image is of the barred spiral galaxy NGC 5068, captured using infrared shots from the telescope’s MIRI and NIRCam sensors. 

The galaxy is located in the Virgo constellation and is around 20 million light-years from Earth. The JWST captured images that show the star formation process, as it can see through the dust and gas that surrounds the newborn stars.

The composite image shows different layers of the galaxy, captured by the two individual images. The MIRI sensor’s image shows the galaxy’s structure and glowing gas bubbles that represent newly-formed stars. The NIRCam image captures the enormous amount of stars in the foreground, focusing on a huge swath of stars in the galaxy’s core.  

NASA is attempting to collect as many images of star formation from nearby galaxies as it can. The data being gathered can help in understanding various fields in astronomy, from the physics of the tenuous plasma between stars to the evolution of entire galaxies. Although there isn’t one specific breakthrough finding in this image, NASA hopes that the data gathered from images like NGC 5068 can help to kick-start major scientific advances in the field.

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