We spoke last month about the new photos that the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) took at the beautiful Phantom Galaxy (aka Messier 74 or NGC 628). As for now, the next-generation telescope has collaborated with the much older Hubble in order to take a new look at the galaxy, and the outcome is truly out-of-this-world. The data collected by the two telescopes were combined.
The galaxy is located very far away from Earth. So, if you ever want to pay it a visit, you’ll have to invent a faster spaceship than anything humanity has in the present. Messier 74 is dwelling about 32 million light-years away.
We’re talking about a spiral galaxy, and you can see it below in all its beauty and in different wavelengths:
But there’s more, so feel free to feast your eyes on this one as well:
The Phantom Galaxy is also one of the oldest galaxies discovered by astronomers. It’s about 13.12 billion years old, which means that it formed less than one billion years after the Big Bang. Most astronomers agree that the Big Bang represented the moment when our Universe came into existence, at least in its somewhat primordial and “familiar” form. It took a while after the Big Bang, even for the first atoms to form.
Messier 74 was discovered way back in the eighteenth century by the French astronomer Pierre Méchain. At that time, he most probably had no idea that the space object was a galaxy. It wasn’t until the great discoveries of the American astronomer Edwin Hubble in the 1920s that scientists found out for sure that there are many other galaxies out there in the Cosmos except for the Milky Way. Until Hubble’s discoveries from that decade, scientists also believed that the Universe was static. Instead, they were finally given huge and compelling evidence that the Universe is constantly expanding.