The Chariot Galaxy as seen by the James Webb Telescope

Image credit:
NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, Webb ERO production team

For some, it evokes the wheel of a chariot due to its circular outline and the presence of a central galaxy, connected by what looks like the spokes of a wheel. The galaxy on the right of the image is known as the Chariot Galaxy, while the other galaxies appear to us in complex interactions without further explanation. Along with the two galaxies on the left, the Chariot Galaxy is part of a group of galaxies located 500 light-years away in the constellation Sculptor. The edges of the galaxy span about 100,000 light-years, and it is made up of extremely bright and massive stars. The ring is the result of a gravitational disturbance caused by a smaller galaxy passing through the larger one, causing interstellar gas and dust to compress and form ripple-like waves on the surface of a pond. This image of the Chariot Galaxy was taken recently by the James Webb Space Telescope and reveals details not only of stars being formed, but also of activity near the galaxy’s central black hole.

Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD)

Translated by Patrick Babayou

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