NASA's James Webb Space Telescope has captured a stunning new view of a spiral galaxy that sits more than 29 million light-years from Earth.
According to NASA and ESA, IC 5332 has a diameter of about 66,000 light-years, roughly one third smaller than our Milky Way. IC 5332 is also "almost perfectly face-on with respect to Earth, allowing us to admire the symmetrical sweep of its spiral arms."
In a release Tuesday, ESA compared the Webb image with another dazzling view of the galaxy: an image from the Hubble Space Telescope, showing dark regions that appear to separate IC 5332's spiral arms.
On Twitter, Hubble called the collaboration a "galactic group project."
Hubble and @NASAWebb teamed up for a galactic group project!
The two telescopes’ complementary views highlight different aspects of this gorgeous spiral galaxy, IC 5332.
Hubble’s image (left) in ultraviolet and visible light shows distinct spiral arms: https://t.co/RX0Zqg1wcG pic.twitter.com/xYmAiQuMhi
— Hubble (@NASAHubble) September 27, 2022
Hubble's ultraviolet and visible-light image was created using data from the telescope's Wide Field Camera 3. Because ultraviolet and visible light "are far more prone to being scattered by interstellar dust than infrared light," ESA says, the galaxy's dusty regions can be easily identified as darker in the image.
In contrast, Webb captured its image using the Mid-InfraRed Instrument. "Those same dusty regions are no longer dark in the Webb image (because) the mid-infrared light from the galaxy has been able to pass through them," ESA writes.
The Webb Telescope's Twitter page notes that its MIRI image shows the "'bones' of galaxy IC 5332, usually hidden by dust."
The two images also display an array of stars, which is similarly a result of the different instruments.
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"Different stars shine brighter at different wavelengths of light – so some stars are clearer in @NASAHubble’s view, while others are more visible with Webb," the Webb Twitter page says. "Taken together, these two views provide us a more complete understanding of galaxy IC 5332’s structure and composition."
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Stunning views of spiral galaxy from NASA James Webb, Hubble compared