Webb’s Stephan’s Quintet

Another extraordinary couple of images returned by Webb is of five galaxies interacting with one another, Stephan’s Quintet.

This is a group of Galaxies located in the constellation of Pegasus.

Due to Webb’s small field of view, these images are made of mosaics of over 1,000 individual images to get this wide field of view.

The galaxy on the left-hand side of the image is NGC 7320 which is 40 million light-years from Earth.
The other four galaxies (NGC 7317, NGC 7318A, NGC 7318B, and NGC 7319) are about 290 million light-years away.

Three of the galaxies are certainly interacting.

Long strings of stars can be seen pulled out from the galaxies due to their gravitational interactions between NGC 7318A, NGC 7318B.
Bright red areas can be seen where these shock waves have initiated star formation areas, rich in Hydrogen, where new stars will be born.
Webb has even resolved individual stars within some of the galaxies.

This image was taken by the NIRCam Instrument in near Infra-red light.

The image below was produced using the MIRI Instrument.
This shows the same galaxies, but in Mid Infra-Red light.
The shock waves around the galaxies in this image, shows just how much these galaxies are interacting as NGC7318B is crashing through the cluster.
The bright reddish “star” revealed in this image in the galaxy at the top is actually a black hole located in the centre of the galaxy.

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