This image of a pair of galaxies taken by the James-Webb and Hubble telescopes exceeds astronomers' expectations


The Hubble Space Telescope had already made remarkable progress. More recent, the James-Webb space telescope seems to be launched on the same path. Today, it is the combination of the two that offers astronomers an unprecedented view of a galaxy and its dust… and more!

VV 191 is a pair of galaxies that has been identified by the group of citizen scientists from the Galaxy Zoo project. A pair of galaxies that have just been targeted by the James-Webb Space Telescope. Offering a spectacular image in the near infrared. By combining this image with ultraviolet and visible data from the same pair of galaxies returned by the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have obtained a result beyond their expectations.

The researchers were indeed able to trace the light emitted by the large elliptical galaxy that makes up the pair through the spiral galaxy that accompanies it. And showing, in detail, extremely dusty, longer spiral arms that almost seem to overlap the elliptical galaxy even though, in reality, there is no such interaction between the two. But understanding where dust is located in galaxies is important. Because it changes the brightness and the colors. It also marks areas of star and planet formation.

Other objects to study

In the image, the researchers also identified a very distant galaxy — the red arc in the upper left of the elliptical galaxy — whose light comes to us bent by the gravity of the elliptical galaxy in our field of view. Curved and duplicated, another image of the same galaxy appearing at the bottom of the elliptical galaxy. The very type of information that escapes the observation capabilities of the Hubble Space Telescope. But not those of the James-Webb Space Telescope.

The image of the VV 191 pair also shows other galaxies in the background. Two spiral galaxies, for example, to the upper left of the elliptical galaxy. They seem similar in size. But their very different color suggests that one is probably very dusty and the other, very distant. It remains to be determined which one…


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