NASA’s Webb telescope reveals never-before-seen details of this cluster of galaxies

A new image of the galaxy cluster known as “El Gordo” is revealing distant and dusty objects never seen before, and providing a bounty of fresh science. The infrared image, taken by the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope, displays a variety of unusual, distorted background galaxies that were only hinted at in previous NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope images.

The NASA tool’s photography captured distant, dusty objects never seen before, “providing a wealth of new science.”

The infrared image, taken by NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, shows a variety of unusual and distorted background galaxies only hinted at in previous Hubble Telescope images.

Within the image of “El Gordo”, a glowing arc can be seen depicted in red at the top right. The team of researchers made the observation of “El Anzuelo”, surprised because the light from this galaxy took 10.6 billion years to reach Earth.

Its distinctive red color is due to a combination of the reddening of dust within the galaxy itself and the cosmological redshift due to its extreme distance.

By correcting for distortions created by James Webb’s lens, the team determined that the background galaxy is disk-shaped with its 26,000 light-years across. This is about a quarter of the size of the Milky Way.

It is also possible to study the star formation history of the galaxy. The experts found that star formation was already slowing down rapidly in the center of the galaxy, a process known as extinction.

“The skinny girl”
The James Webb Telescope image also captured a long, thin line to the left of the image. “La Flaca,” as it was nicknamed, is another lensed background galaxy whose light also took nearly 11 billion years to reach Earth.

Not far from La Flaca is another lensed galaxy. When the researchers took a closer look at that galaxy, they found a single red giant star that they nicknamed Quyllur, which is the Quechua term for star.

Hubble had previously found other lensed stars (such as Eärendel), but they were all blue supergiants. Quyllur is the first single red giant star observed beyond a billion light-years from Earth. These high redshift stars are only detectable using infrared filters and Webb’s sensitivity.

El Gordo” is a cluster of hundreds of galaxies that existed when the universe was 6.2 billion years old, making it a “cosmic teenager,” according to NASA.

It is the most massive group known to exist at the time. Its powerful gravity bends and distorts light from objects behind it, like a spectacle lens.

The team led by Brenda Fyre of the University of Arizona targeted “El Gordo” because it acts as a natural cosmic magnifying glass through a phenomenon known as gravitational lensing.