The James Webb Space Telescope: A Glimpse into the Cosmos

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope captured an image of the starburst galaxy M82 in 2006, showing a small box at the galaxy’s core representing the area captured by the NIRCam instrument on NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope. The collaboration between NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, and A. Bolatto from the University of Maryland helped capture these stunning images of M82, providing insight into the galaxy’s structure and dynamics.

The Webb image revealed red filaments visible which represent polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon emission tracing the shape of galactic wind. In contrast to the Hubble image where different wavelengths are represented by different colors, such as light at .814 microns is colored red and .658 microns is red-orange. Filters used for these images are F814W, F658N, F555W and F435W respectively. The Webb image uses filters like F335M for light at 3.35 microns that is colored red while 2.50 microns is green and 1.64 microns is blue with filters F250M and F164N respectively.

The NIRCam instrument on the James Webb Space Telescope was able to capture detailed images of M82 that were not possible with previous space telescopes due to its ability to observe in near-infrared wavelengths where many stars and galaxies emit their most intense radiation. This allowed scientists to gain a deeper understanding of how these objects form and evolve over time

By Samantha Johnson

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