NASA's Webb telescope photographs galactic 'dinosaurs' out in deep space

NASA's multi-billion observatory is earning its stars and stripes by becoming what NASA now calls the ultimate space paleontologist.

NASA's Webb telescope photographs galactic 'dinosaurs' out in deep space
2 minutes & read time

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope recently experienced a glitch, but the observatory is now back online and conducting valuable science.

The space agency has taken to its official James Webb Space Telescope Twitter account to announce that Webb has honed its sensitive instruments on a region of deep space that contains ancient galaxies. NASA explains that the above image was snapped during instrument calibration to test Webb's ability to dig up galactic "fossils".

The European Space Agency (ESA) explains in its blog post that the large spiral galaxy seen at the bottom of the image is called LEDA 2046648 and is slightly over one billion light-years from Earth, residing in the constellation Hercules. Additionally, the ESA explains that one of Webb's main purposes is to gather information on distant galaxies so researchers can learn more about their formation, evolution, and composition.

NASA's Webb telescope photographs galactic 'dinosaurs' out in deep space 03

Notably, NASA explains in its Twitter thread that collecting images such as the one above allows scientists to make comparisons between galactic "dinosaurs" and modern galaxies. Through these comparisons, researchers are able to learn more about how these galaxies evolved into what they are today and what they will become in the future.

NASA's Webb telescope photographs galactic 'dinosaurs' out in deep space 01

More specifically, this image of LEDA 2046648 was captured with Webb's Near-InfraRed Camera (NIRCam) while Webb's other instrument, the Near-InfraRed Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (NIRISS), was conducting parallel observations on the white dwarf star WD1657+343. These parallel observations allow researchers to interpret and compare data from two separate instruments, increasing the quality of the data that is being gathered.

In other NASA news, the space agency recently revealed where it will be storing Mars samples currently being collected by its Perseverance rover that's been scouring the surface of the Red Planet since February 2021. The samples aren't expected to arrive on Earth for many years, and some researchers aren't entirely convinced that bringing any Mars samples to Earth is even a good idea in the first place. These researchers are mostly concerned about any potential contamination caused by the Mars samples.

If you are interested in reading more about that story, or would like to just read more science/space news, check out the below link.

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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