NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) have recently shared an intriguing infrared image that portrays the formation of two new stars named Herbig-Haro 46/47. The picture, captured by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), has left viewers astonished as they noticed a peculiar question mark shape on the edges of the image.
After thorough analysis, Dr. Christopher Britt, an astrophysicist, has shed some light on this enigma. According to him, the question mark shape could actually be a result of the merger between a pair of galaxies situated in the background. These galaxies are believed to be blending into each other, distorting their original shape due to their interaction. This phenomenon is akin to what is projected to happen to our very own Milky Way galaxy in approximately four billion years, when it is expected to collide with the Andromeda spiral galaxy.
The JWST played a significant role in capturing this incredible image. Its powerful infrared capabilities enabled researchers to capture the peculiar feature without requiring an extensive exposure time, unlike other observatories such as the Hubble Space Telescope. The Hubble telescope is primarily sensitive to bluer light, limiting its ability to capture the shortest wavelength light seen in the image.
The merging galaxies forming the question mark shape could potentially partake in a similar cosmic dance as witnessed in closer galaxy mergers. As scientists unravel the mysteries of the universe, this image serves as a breathtaking reminder of the beauty and complexity that resides beyond our world.
To witness more awe-inspiring infrared astrophotography, make sure to explore the gallery showcasing the best JWST images captured to date. Stay tuned for further discoveries and revelations as we continue to uncover the wonders of the cosmos.
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