Exceptional beauty or ancient terror. These are simply two descriptions of the most recent image of M74, a huge and close spiral galaxy.
JWST captured the infrared images by gazing through the layers of the galaxy to concentrate on the galaxy’s hot gas, dust, and some of its stars. essentially anything that emits mid-infrared light.
Judy Schmidt, an accomplished space image processor, prepared the picture; her work speaks for itself. The picture of M74 was obtained by translating three mid-infrared observations of the telescope into visible colors.
I've settled on this version of NGC7496 as the prettiest way to combine JWST and HST. I think this has a "natural" look to it. Best used as simply as eye candy. #phangs https://t.co/AYMTIlnBnR pic.twitter.com/wDtJDkZRYc
— Judy Schmidt (@SpaceGeck) July 18, 2022
Red was added to the emission of the longest wavelength (21 microns). The one measuring 11.3 microns was colored orange, while the one measuring 7.7 microns was colored cyan. Using a grayscale of 10-micron readings, the total luminance was determined. And the outcome is this fantastic composition.
The PHANG Study seeks to survey stars, star clusters, and dust in 19 neighboring galaxies that have already been detected by the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). The objective is to investigate star formation in galaxies from start to finish.
Schmidt has processed NGC7496, another galaxy from the PHANG survey, as both a stand-alone mid- and near-infrared picture from JWST and as a composite Hubble and JWST image.
From the cosmic escarpment of the Carina Nebula to the gas around a black hole, JWST’s scientific photos have just been visible for 10 days, yet we are already awestruck. And decades of observations still to be made.