Cartwheel Galaxy (NIRCam and MIRI Composite Image)

Stsci_2022-039a_1024

stsci_2022-039a August 2nd, 2022

Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, Webb ERO Production Team

This image of the Cartwheel and its companion galaxies is a composite from Webb’s Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam) and Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI), which reveals details that are difficult to see in the individual images alone.

This galaxy formed as the result of a high-speed collision that occurred about 400 million years ago. The Cartwheel is composed of two rings, a bright inner ring and a colorful outer ring. Both rings expand outward from the center of the collision like shockwaves.

However, despite the impact, much of the character of the large, spiral galaxy that existed before the collision remains, including its rotating arms. This leads to the “spokes” that inspired the name of the Cartwheel Galaxy, which are the bright red streaks seen between the inner and outer rings. These brilliant red hues, located not only throughout the Cartwheel, but also the companion spiral galaxy at the top left, are caused by glowing, hydrocarbon-rich dust.

In this near- and mid-infrared composite image, MIRI data are colored red while NIRCam data are colored blue, orange, and yellow. Amidst the red swirls of dust, there are many individual blue dots, which represent individual stars or pockets of star formation. NIRCam also defines the difference between the older star populations and dense dust in the core and the younger star populations outside of it.

Webb’s observations capture the Cartwheel in a very transitory stage. The form that the Cartwheel Galaxy will eventually take, given these two competing forces, is still a mystery. However, this snapshot provides perspective on what happened to the galaxy in the past and what it will do in the future.

Provider: Space Telescope Science Institute

Image Source: https://webbtelescope.org/contents/news-releases/2022/news-2022-039

Curator: STScI, Baltimore, MD, USA

Image Use Policy: http://stsci.edu/copyright/

Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Object Name
Cartwheel Galaxy ESO 350-40 AM0035-335
Subject - Local Universe
Galaxy > Grouping > Multiple

Distance

Universescale3
490,000,000 light years
Stsci_2022-039a_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 0h 37m 41.6s
DEC = -33° 42’ 47.0”
Orientation
North is 28.0° CCW
Field of View
2.3 x 2.2 arcminutes
Constellation
Sculptor

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Blue Webb (NIRCam) Infrared 900.0 nm
Blue Webb (NIRCam) Infrared 1.5 µm
Green Webb (NIRCam) Infrared 2.0 µm
Yellow Webb (NIRCam) Infrared 2.8 µm
Red Webb (NIRCam) Infrared 3.6 µm
Red Webb (NIRCam) Infrared 4.4 µm
Orange Webb (MIRI) Infrared 7.7 µm
Orange Webb (MIRI) Infrared 10.0 µm
Orange Webb (MIRI) Infrared 12.8 µm
Orange Webb (MIRI) Infrared 18.0 µm
Spectrum_ir1
Blue
Blue
Green
Yellow
Red
Red
Orange
Orange
Orange
Orange
Stsci_2022-039a_1280
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ID
2022-039a
Subject Category
C.5.5.2  
Subject Name
Cartwheel Galaxy, ESO 350-40, AM0035-335
Credits
NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, Webb ERO Production Team
Release Date
2022-08-02
Lightyears
490,000,000
Redshift
490,000,000
Reference Url
https://webbtelescope.org/contents/news-releases/2022/news-2022-039
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Good
Distance Notes
Facility
Webb, Webb, Webb, Webb, Webb, Webb, Webb, Webb, Webb, Webb
Instrument
NIRCam, NIRCam, NIRCam, NIRCam, NIRCam, NIRCam, MIRI, MIRI, MIRI, MIRI
Color Assignment
Blue, Blue, Green, Yellow, Red, Red, Orange, Orange, Orange, Orange
Band
Infrared, Infrared, Infrared, Infrared, Infrared, Infrared, Infrared, Infrared, Infrared, Infrared
Bandpass
Central Wavelength
900, 1500, 2000, 2770, 3560, 4440, 7700, 10000, 12800, 18000
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
Reference Value
9.42321092732, -33.71306150293
Reference Dimension
4685.00, 4312.00
Reference Pixel
2356.29149583846, 2187.12454242374
Scale
-0.00000833313, 0.00000833313
Rotation
27.97402144102
Coordinate System Projection:
TAN
Quality
Full
FITS Header
Notes
World Coordinate System resolved using PinpointWCS 0.9.2 revision 218+ by the Chandra X-ray Center
Creator (Curator)
STScI
URL
http://stsci.edu
Name
Space Telescope Science Institute Office of Public Outreach
Email
outreach@stsci.edu
Telephone
410-338-4444
Address
3700 San Martin Drive
City
Baltimore
State/Province
MD
Postal Code
21218
Country
USA
Rights
http://stsci.edu/copyright/
Publisher
STScI
Publisher ID
stsci
Resource ID
STSCI-J-p22039a-f-4685x4312.tif
Metadata Date
2022-08-01T17:17:53-04:00
Metadata Version
1.2
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Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

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Universescalefull
490,000,000 light years