NASA

NASA James Webb Space Telescope has taken a stunning image of a perfect spiral galaxy

cosmos science Technology

In a massive new development, astronomers around the world have 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 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 centre of it.

According to NASA, which published the image on July 22, “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”.

While this isn’t the first time we’ve seen Messier 74, as the Hubble Telescope has captured images of the distant galaxy, the NIRcam and MIRI (Mid-Infrared Instrument) on the JWST have allowed us to see the full range of cosmic dust that surrounds the galaxy and gives it its perfect spiral appearance. Previously, the galaxy’s spirals were scarcely visible, and it appeared to be simply another normal galaxy.

The core of the galaxy is covered in darkness in the picture. Scientists estimate that an intermediate-class black hole might occupy this area. The potential of a black hole has aroused NASA’s interest since scientists will not be able to conduct more studies to determine whether or not the spiral appearance of the galaxy is impacted by the black hole. If a link between the two can be found, scientists will be able to look at many more spiral galaxies with the prospect of black holes.