The Cosmic Seahorse galaxy is a spiral galaxy located very far away from Earth, but despite this fact, it still attracts astronomers’ attention.
The galaxy has a distinctive elongated shape, with a bright, knotted head and a long, winding tail. Its spiral arms appear distorted, likely due to gravitational interactions with other nearby galaxies.
In addition to its interesting shape, the Cosmic Seahorse galaxy is also notable for its active star-forming regions. These bright patches of light indicate areas where new stars are being born from clouds of gas and dust.
The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) can see extremely distant galaxies with its already-sharp vision aided by gravitational lensing. In a stunning new image, the Cosmic Seahorse galaxy is seen through a gravitational lens, according to Space.com. A gravitational lens occurs when the gravity of a massive object curves space-time and bends light around it.
The gravitational lens in the new image is created by the galaxy cluster SDSS J1226+2149, located about 6.3 billion light-years away from Earth. Gravitational lensing not only bends light but also magnifies it, allowing scientists to study star formation in distant galaxies like the Cosmic Seahorse.
The #JWST images just continue to awe & inspire! This one features the Cosmic Seahorse galaxy 🤩#astronomy #stars #astrophotography #NASA #galaxy
📷 /🔗 :https://t.co/5kRBk86i4k pic.twitter.com/0NSTam7JHP
— Starry Time Podcast (@starrytimepod) April 1, 2023
The European Space Agency (ESA) explained:
As well as revealing how quickly stars form and characterizing the environments in these galaxies that gave rise to new stars, these observations will demonstrate the capabilities of Webb and provide richly detailed datasets to the astronomical community.
The Cosmic Seahorse galaxy was first discovered by astronomer William Herschel in 1783, and has since been studied extensively by astronomers using various telescopes and instruments. Observations have revealed a wealth of information about the galaxy’s structure, composition, and history.
Overall, the Cosmic Seahorse galaxy is a fascinating object in the cosmos, offering astronomers valuable insights into the processes of galaxy formation and evolution.