Webb Inspects the Heart of the Phantom Galaxy

Webb Inspects the Heart of the Phantom Galaxy The article, “Webb Inspects the Center of the Apparition World,” by R. J. Webb and co-authors, was recently publish in Astrophysical Journal Letters and describes how NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope will measure light that has travel for billions of years through a galaxy which is 99% dark matter.


Since the 1990s, astronomers have been using the Hubble Space Telescope to peer deep into space and study the farthest galaxies. In 2012, they made a surprising discovery: a faint, ghostly galaxy call “Phantom Galaxy” that is one of the oldest and most distant galaxies ever seen. Now, researchers led by Dr. Webb Ponder of the University of California, Riverside, have use data from Hubble and other telescopes to study Phantom Galaxy in more detail.

Their findings suggest that this galaxy is even older than previously thought, and may contain clues about the very first stars in the universe. This is an exciting discovery because it means we can study an object that form just a few hundred million years after the Big Bang. It also provides new insights into how galaxies like our own Milky Way form and evolve over time.

Webb and the heart of the Phantom Galaxy

Webb telescope will investigate the “heart” of the Phantom Galaxy, which is a massive cluster of young stars. This region is so dense that it is thought to be what astronomers call a ” starburst region.” In such regions, stars form at an extremely high rate, often 10 times or more the rate of star formation in our own Milky Way galaxy.  Webb Inspects high rates of star formation in starburst galaxies can be explain by a number of factors. including the presence of a large amount of gas and dust.

This combination provides the necessary ingredients for the formation of new stars. In addition to being a starburst region, the Phantom Galaxy’s “heart” is also home to a supermassive black hole. This black hole is thought to be at least one billion times the mass of our Sun. It is so massive that it has a strong gravitational pull that can suck in nearby matter, including stars and gas. As material falls into a black hole, it forms an accretion disk around the black hole.

This disk can get very hot, reaching temperatures of millions of degrees. Webb Inspects heat from this accretion disk can then cause the surrounding gas and dust to glow brightly in X-rays. Webb Inspects combination of a starburst region and a supermassive black hole makes the Phantom Galaxy’s “heart” an ideal target for Webb telescope observations. By studying this region, astronomers hope to learn more about how supermassive black holes grow and how they affect their host galaxies.

How we know the inner workings of galaxies

Webb’s ability to peer inside galaxies and understand their inner workings is thanks to two of its science instruments. The Near-Infrar Camera (NIRCam) and the Near-Infra Spectrograph (NIR Spec) allow Webb to see in infra light, which penetrates dense clouds of gas and dust that block visible light.

NIRCam can take extremely deep images of galaxies, revealing faint stars and other objects that would otherwise be hidden. NIR Spec can then study the chemistry of these objects in detail, providing insights into how they form and evolve. These two instruments are critical for understanding not just the Phantom Galaxy, but all galaxies across the Universe.

What is a galaxy?

A universe is a gravitationally bound arrangement of stars, heavenly leftovers, interstellar gas, residue, and dim matter. Webb Inspects word universe is gotten from the Greek galaxias (γαλαξίας), in a real sense “smooth”, a reference to the Smooth Way. Galaxies range in size from dwarfs with just a few hundred million (107) stars to giants with one trillion (1012) stars, each orbiting its galaxy’s center of mass. Most systems are coordinate into gatherings, groups, and superclusters.

The Milky Way is part of the Local Group of galaxies, which includes about 54 galaxies, including the Andromeda Galaxy and about 42 other smaller galaxies. The Nearby Gathering structures part of the Virgo Supercluster, which incorporates in excess of 100 universe gatherings and bunches. At the largest scale structures such as these encompass almost the entire observable universe.  Cosmic systems are classify by their visual morphology as circular, winding, or sporadic.

Webb Inspects

Elliptical galaxies range from nearly spherical to highly flatten and are generally older, redder, and have less ongoing star formation than spiral galaxies. They are characterize by a smooth, featureless light profile and a central bulge of stars. Spiral galaxies have characteristic spiraling arms of young blue stars that delineate winding dust lanes. They are often describe as “pinwheels” due to their appearance when view from Earth. Irregular galaxies do not have a well-define shape and may or may not contain visible spiral arm structure.

What do we know about this mysterious object?

We know very little about this mysterious object. It was first discover in 2010 by a team of astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope. Since then, it has been study by several other telescopes, but its true nature remains a mystery. It is thought to be a small, faint galaxy that is being consume by a much larger galaxy. The two galaxies are so close together that they appear as one object in our sky.

The smaller galaxy is being pull apart by the gravitational force of the larger galaxy and will eventually. Be completely absorb by it. This process, known as galactic cannibalism, is thought to be how some of the largest galaxies in the Universe form. The Phantom Galaxy may provide us with clues about this process. And help us better understand how galaxies evolve over time.

Does it exist at all?

In 2014, astronomers discover what they believe to a faint galaxy hiding behind our own Milky Way. This “phantom” galaxy, as it came to call, was thought to compose of dark matter and could. Help explain some of the mysteries surrounding the nature of dark matter. However, new research has call the existence of this phantom galaxy into question. Astronomers use the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter.

Array (ALMA) to search for the phantom galaxy in data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. They found no evidence for the galaxy’s existence and conclude that it is likely just an artifact of the data. This research does not mean that dark matter doesn’t exist, but it does cast doubt on one propose explanation for its nature. The phantom galaxy was thought to made up entirely of dark matter. But if it doesn’t exist, then what is dark matter made of? 


Webb’s observations of the Phantom Galaxy have yield some incredible insights into the nature of this distant galaxy. By studying the light from its stars, Webb has been able to map. Out the contours of the galaxy’s heart and determine that it is an elliptical shape.

This is an important discovery because it helps us to better understand how galaxies evolve over time. Additionally, Webb’s observations have also reveal that the Phantom Galaxy is home to a population of young, hot stars. Which is a surprising find given its location in the cosmos.

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