About the Object

Category: Galaxies

Galaxy cluster MACS0416 (Hubble and Webb composite image, annotated)

This panchromatic view of galaxy cluster MACS0416 was created by combining infrared observations from the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope with visible-light data from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. To make the image, in general the shortest wavelengths of light were colour-coded blue, the longest wavelengths red, and intermediate wavelengths green. The resulting wavelength coverage, from 0.4 to 5 microns, reveals a vivid landscape of galaxies that could be described as one of the most colourful views of the universe ever created.

MACS0416 is a galaxy cluster located about 4.3 billion light-years from Earth, meaning that the light from it that we see now left the cluster shortly after the formation of our Solar System. This cluster magnifies the light from more distant background galaxies through gravitational lensing. As a result, the research team has been able to identify magnified supernovae and even very highly magnified individual stars.

Those colours give clues to galaxy distances: the bluest galaxies are relatively nearby and often show intense star formation, as best detected by Hubble, while the redder galaxies tend to be more distant, or else contain copious amounts of dust, as best detected by Webb. The image reveals a wealth of details that it is only possible to capture by combining the power of both space telescopes.

In this image, blue represents data at wavelengths of 0.435, 0.606, 0.814, and 1.05 microns (Hubble filters F435W, F606W, F814W, and F105W). Green combines data at 0.90, 1.15, 1.5, 1.6, 2.0, and 2.77 microns (Hubble filter F160W and Webb filters F090W, F115W, F150W, F200W, and F277W). Red represents data at 3.56, 4.1, and 4.44 microns (Webb filters F356W, F410M and F444W).

[Image description: A field of galaxies on the black background of space. In the middle is a collection of dozens of yellowish spiral and elliptical galaxies that form a foreground galaxy cluster. Among them are distorted linear features, which mostly appear to follow invisible concentric circles curving around the centre of the image. The linear features are created when the light of a background galaxy is bent and magnified through gravitational lensing. A variety of brightly coloured, red and blue galaxies of various shapes are scattered across the image, making it feel densely populated.]


NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, J. Diego (Instituto de Física de Cantabria, Spain), J. D’Silva (U. Western Australia), A. Koekemoer (STScI), J. Summers & R. Windhorst (ASU), and H. Yan (U. Missouri)

About the Image

Id: weic2327c
Type: Collage
Release date: 9 November 2023, 16:00
Related releases: weic2327
Size: 4456 x 5098 px

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