Look at the active core of a spiral galaxy in a new image of "Webb"

The European Space Agency has released a new image from the James Space Telescope.

Webb." It shows NGC 7469, a barred spiral galaxy about 90,000 light-years across with a bright active nucleus, located about 220 million light-years from Earth.

The active nucleus of the galaxy is in the pictureextremely bright central region. A six-pointed star is superimposed on it. Unlike other objects, this is not a true observation, but an image artifact known as a diffraction burst, caused by bright light from an active nucleus.

Galaxy NGC 7469 as seen by the James Webb Space Telescope. Image: ESA/Webb, NASA & CSA, L. Armus, A. S. Evans

The active nucleus is the compact region in the centergalaxy surrounding a supermassive black hole. As a rule, such objects have a much higher luminosity, at least in some part of the electromagnetic spectrum, which cannot be formed only by stars. The powerful radiation is produced by light emitted by dust and gas that are absorbed by the black hole.

NGC 7469 opens up a unique opportunity forstudying the physics of star formation around active nuclei, scientists say. The center of this galaxy is surrounded by a star-forming ring located only 1,500 light-years from the core. The James Webb Telescope is extremely sensitive to infrared radiation, allowing it to peer through the dense ring of dust surrounding the galactic core and see internal processes.

Galaxy NGC 7469 (upper right) onimage from the Hubble telescope. Image: NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration and A. Evans (University of Virginia, Charlottesville/NRAO/Stony Brook University)

The researchers note that with the help of newObservations have uncovered young clusters of forming stars that have never been seen before, as well as pockets of very warm, turbulent molecular gas and direct evidence of the destruction of fine dust grains within a few hundred light-years of the core, proving that AGN is affecting the surrounding interstellar medium.

Astrophysicists have also found thationized diffuse atomic gas leaves the nucleus at a speed of approximately 6.4 million km/h. These are only the first preliminary results, scientists continue to analyze the data collected by the telescope.

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