A strange type of galaxy shines in a new image from the Webb Telescope

(CNN) – The James Webb Space Telescope peered through cosmic dust, revealing new details and a stunning image of a rare type of galaxy.

The latest image from the Space Observatory shows the Cartwheel Galaxy, a circular galaxy located 500 million light-years away and formed when a large spiral galaxy and a small galaxy violently collided.

When galaxies collide, they can change their shape and structure. In the El Kartwell Wheel Galaxy, which looks a bit like a wheel, a colorful ring surrounds a brighter inner ring, both extending away from the collision core, as shown in the Webb telescope image.

These features are the reason why scientists classify the Cartwheel as a ring galaxy, which is less common than spiral galaxies.

Astronomers have gained new insights into individual stars and star formation within the chaotic galaxy, as well as the black hole at the galactic center, as a result of the capabilities of the Webb Telescope.

The new image reveals more about how the galaxy has evolved over billions of years.

This image from the Webb mid-infrared instrument shows the structure of the Cartwell Wheel Galaxy.

The image shows giant clusters of young stars forming in the hot dust of the bright inner ring.

Meanwhile, the outer ring is expanding for 440 million years, during which star formation and death (in the form of supernova explosions) occurs. As the ring expands, it collides with gas, causing further star formation.

Two small companion galaxies are also shown in the image.

The Hubble Space Telescope and other observatories studied the Cartwell wheel, but accumulations of dust obscured the mysteries of the galaxy. Webb is an infrared telescope that sees light invisible to the human eye, so it was able to capture new details that other devices can’t.

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The new image is a combination of data collected by a near-infrared webcam and a mid-infrared instrument and captures a moment in time as the Cartwheel continues to slowly turn.

The Webb Telescope officially began its science operations on July 12, the same day NASA released its first images, and more images are on the way in the coming weeks, according to the space agency.

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