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NASA has recently released the most detailed image of the Phantom Galaxy ever created, and it’s absolutely breathtaking. The image shows off an area of space that appears to be completely devoid of stars, yet NASA revealed that the region is actually full of billions of stars, but they are hidden behind thick clouds of dust and gas. In the center of this dust cloud lies an incredibly bright, massive star that shines with 200 million times more brightness than our own sun, giving off so much light that it obscures the entire galaxy from view.
Here’s how it was captured
A spiral of solar systems 32 million light-years from Earth, the Phantom Galaxy is seen in stunning new photos from the Hubble and James Webb telescopes.
According to the European Space Agency, which works with NASA on both the Hubble Telescope and the James Webb Telescope, the galaxy is situated in the constellation Pisces.
The Phantom Galaxy, also referred as as M74, belongs to the class of spiral galaxies called “grand design spirals.” This indicates that it has distinct spiral arms that can be seen spiralling outward from the centre in the most recent pictures.
Data from the Hubble and Webb telescopes were combined to make the images. According to ESA, Webb found “delicate threads of gas and dust” in the galaxy’s spiral arms. The photos also give a clear view of the galaxy’s central nuclear star cluster, which is not obscured by gas.
In an effort to comprehend the earliest stages of star formation, the Webb telescope also examined the Phantom Galaxy using its Mid-InfraRed Instrument (MIRI), according to the ESA.
According to the organisation, Hubble has exceptionally keen vision at ultraviolet and visible wavelengths whereas Webb excels at observing infrared light. This enabled it to discern unusually brilliant star-forming regions, or HII regions, in the photos of the Phantom Galaxy.
By combining the data from the two telescopes, researchers were able to better understand the Phantom Galaxy and produce stunning photographs of the cosmos.
Just a few weeks ago in July, NASA revealed the first high-resolution photos from Webb. The telescope, which is larger than Hubble, can observe extremely far-off galaxies and provide information on early star formation. Webb orbits the sun, some 1 million kilometres from Earth, whereas Hubble orbits the planet.