James Webb Space Telescope Feed Post

Date: 4/3/2024

M82 (Hubble and Webb) | Webb

Starburst galaxy M82 was observed by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2006, which showed the galaxy’s edge-on spiral disk, shredded clouds, and hot hydrogen gas. The James Webb Space Telescope has observed M82’s core, capturing in unprecedented detail the structure of the galactic wind and characterizing individual stars and star clusters. The Webb image is from the telescope’s NIRCam (Near-Infrared Camera) instrument. The red filaments trace the shape of the cool component of the galactic wind via polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). PAHs are very small dust grains that survive in cooler temperatures but are destroyed in hot conditions. The structure of the emission is similar to that of the ionized gas, suggesting PAHs may be replenished from cooler molecular material as it is ionized. Credit: STScI.