NASA releases first-ever detailed satellite images of galaxy next to Milky Way

NASA released stunning satellite images of a nearby galaxy to the Milky Way on Monday, which have never been seen with such clarity before by the human eye.

The latest images (at 7.7 microns) taken by NASA’s newest state-of-the-art James Webb Space Telescope show the enhanced telescopic ability of the most advanced technology compared to the US space agency’s now-retired Spitzer Space Telescope.

“Computer, enhance! Compare the same target — seen by Spitzer & in Webb’s calibration images,” said NASA in a Twitter blog post. “To see the infrared sky with even more clarity.”

The Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) on the Webb telescope shows part of the Large Magellanic Cloud. This small satellite galaxy of the Milky Way provided a dense star field to test Webb’s performance.

Since the Webb telescope has a significantly larger primary mirror and improved detectors, it will allow NASA to see existing galaxies closer than ever before, enabling even more discoveries and giving astronomers new insights into the birth of stars and other galaxies.

“It’s full of stars!” continued NASA’s blog post. “This mosaic represents a sparkling turning point as we #UnfoldTheUniverse, #NASAWebb’s mirrors are now fully aligned! Next is instrument calibration, the final phase before Webb is ready for science.”

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