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    • By NASA
      The distorted spiral galaxy at center, the Penguin, and the compact elliptical at left, the Egg, are locked in an active embrace. This near- and mid-infrared image combines data from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope’s NIRCam (Near-Infrared Camera) and MIRI (Mid-Infrared Instrument), and marks the telescope’s second year of science. Webb’s view shows that their interaction is marked by a glow of scattered stars represented in blue. Known jointly as Arp 142, the galaxies made their first pass by one another between 25 and 75 million years ago, causing “fireworks,” or new star formation, in the Penguin. The galaxies are approximately the same mass, which is why one hasn’t consumed the other.NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI To celebrate the second science anniversary of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, the team has released a near- and mid-infrared image on July 12, 2024, of two interacting galaxies: The Penguin and the Egg.
      Webb specializes in capturing infrared light – which is beyond what our own eyes can see – allowing us to view and study these two galaxies, collectively known as Arp 142. Their ongoing interaction was set in motion between 25 and 75 million years ago, when the Penguin (individually cataloged as NGC 2936) and the Egg (NGC 2937) completed their first pass. They will go on to shimmy and sway, completing several additional loops before merging into a single galaxy hundreds of millions of years from now.
      Learn more about the Penguin and the Egg.
      Image Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI
      Text Credit: NASA Webb Mission Team
      View the full article
    • By European Space Agency
      A duo of interacting galaxies known as Arp 142 commemorates the second science anniversary of the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope. Their ongoing interaction was set in motion between 25 and 75 million years ago, when the Penguin (individually catalogued as NGC 2936) and the Egg (NGC 2937) completed their first pass. They will go on to shimmy and sway, completing several additional loops before merging into a single galaxy hundreds of millions of years from now.
      View the full article
    • By NASA
      6 Min Read Vivid Portrait of Interacting Galaxies Marks Webb’s Second Anniversary
      Webb’s view of the interacting galaxies of Arp 142 that combines Webb’s NIRCam and MIRI instrument images. Full image below. Two for two! A duo of interacting galaxies commemorates the second science anniversary of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, which takes constant observations, including images and highly detailed data known as spectra. Its operations have led to a “parade” of discoveries by astronomers around the world.
      “Since President Biden and Vice President Harris unveiled the first image from the James Webb Space Telescope two years ago, Webb has continued to unlock the mysteries of the universe,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “With remarkable images from the corners of the cosmos, going back nearly to the beginning of time, Webb’s capabilities are shedding new light on our celestial surroundings and inspiring future generations of scientists, astronomers, and explorers.”
      “In just two years, Webb has transformed our view of the universe, enabling the kind of world-class science that drove NASA to make this mission a reality,” said Mark Clampin, director of the Astrophysics Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “Webb is providing insights into longstanding mysteries about the early universe and ushering in a new era of studying distant worlds, while returning images that inspire people around the world and posing exciting new questions to answer. It has never been more possible to explore every facet of the universe.”
      The telescope’s specialization in capturing infrared light — which is beyond what our own eyes can detect — shows these galaxies, collectively known as Arp 142, locked in a slow cosmic dance. Webb’s observations, which combine near- and mid-infrared light from Webb’s NIRCam (Near-Infrared Camera) and MIRI (Mid-Infrared Instrument), respectively, clearly show that they are joined by a haze represented in blue that is a mix of stars and gas, a result of their mingling.
      Their ongoing interaction was set in motion between 25 and 75 million years ago, when the Penguin (individually cataloged as NGC 2936) and the Egg (NGC 2937) completed their first pass. They will go on to shimmy and sway, completing several additional loops before merging into a single galaxy hundreds of millions of years from now.
      Image A: Interacting Galaxies Arp 142 (NIRCam and MIRI)
      The distorted spiral galaxy at center, the Penguin, and the compact elliptical at left, the Egg, are locked in an active embrace. This near- and mid-infrared image combines data from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope’s NIRCam (Near-Infrared Camera) and MIRI (Mid-Infrared Instrument), and marks the telescope’s second year of science. Webb’s view shows that their interaction is marked by a glow of scattered stars represented in blue. Known jointly as Arp 142, the galaxies made their first pass by one another between 25 and 75 million years ago, causing “fireworks,” or new star formation, in the Penguin. The galaxies are approximately the same mass, which is why one hasn’t consumed the other. Let’s Dance!
      Before their first approach, the Penguin held the shape of a spiral. Today, its galactic center gleams like an eye, its unwound arms now shaping a beak, head, backbone, and fanned-out tail.
      Like all spiral galaxies, the Penguin is still very rich in gas and dust. The galaxies’ “dance” gravitationally pulled on the Penguin’s thinner areas of gas and dust, causing them to crash in waves and form stars. Look for those areas in two places: what looks like a fish in its “beak” and the “feathers” in its “tail.”
      Surrounding these newer stars is smoke-like material that includes carbon-containing molecules, known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which Webb is exceptional at detecting. Dust, seen as fainter, deeper orange arcs also swoops from its beak to tail feathers.
      In contrast, the Egg’s compact shape remains largely unchanged. As an elliptical galaxy, it is filled with aging stars, and has a lot less gas and dust that can be pulled away to form new stars. If both were spiral galaxies, each would end the first “twist” with new star formation and twirling curls, known as tidal tails.
      Another reason for the Egg’s undisturbed appearance: These galaxies have approximately the same mass or heft, which is why the smaller-looking elliptical wasn’t consumed or distorted by the Penguin.
      It is estimated that the Penguin and the Egg are about 100,000 light-years apart — quite close in astronomical terms. For context, the Milky Way galaxy and our nearest neighbor, the Andromeda Galaxy, are about 2.5 million light-years apart. They too will interact, but not for about 4 billion years.
      Now, look to the top right to spot a galaxy that is not at this party. This edge-on galaxy, cataloged PGC 1237172, is 100 million light-years closer to Earth. It’s also quite young, teeming with new, blue stars.
      Want one more party trick? Switch to Webb’s mid-infrared-only image to see PGC 1237172 practically disappear. Mid-infrared light largely captures cooler, older stars and an incredible amount of dust. Since the galaxy’s stellar population is so young, it “vanishes” in mid-infrared light.
      Image B: Interacting Galaxies Arp 142 (MIRI Only)
      NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope’s mid-infrared view of interacting galaxies Arp 142 seems to sing in primary colors. The Egg shows up as a tiny, teal-colored oval, because it is made up of old stars and has lost or used up most of its gas and dust. At right, the Penguin’s star-forming regions are represented in pink and purple, and contain smoke-like material known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Also take a moment to scan the background. Webb’s image is overflowing with distant galaxies. Some take spiral and oval shapes, like those threaded throughout the Penguin’s “tail feathers,” while others scattered throughout are shapeless dots. This is a testament to the sensitivity and resolution of the telescope’s infrared instruments. (Compare Webb’s view to the 2018 observation that combines infrared light from NASA’s retired Spitzer Space Telescope and near-infrared and visible light from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope.) Even though these observations only took a few hours, Webb revealed far more distant, redder, and dustier galaxies than previous telescopes – one more reason to expect Webb to continue to expand our understanding of everything in the universe.
      Want more? Take a tour to the image, “fly through” it in a visualization, and compare Webb’s image to the Hubble Space Telescope’s.
      Arp 142 lies 326 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Hydra.
      Video: Tour the Arp 142 Image
      Video tour transcript
      Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, Danielle Kirshenblat (STScI) Video: Arp 142 Visualization
      Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, Ralf Crawford (STScI), Joseph DePasquale (STScI), Christian Nieves (STScI), Joseph Olmsted (STScI), Alyssa Pagan (STScI), Frank Summers (STScI), Greg Bacon (STScI) Image C: Compare Hubble/Webb
      Image Before/After The James Webb Space Telescope is the world’s premier space science observatory. Webb is solving mysteries in our solar system, looking beyond to distant worlds around other stars, and probing the mysterious structures and origins of our universe and our place in it. Webb is an international program led by NASA with its partners, ESA (European Space Agency) and CSA (Canadian Space Agency).
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      View/Download all image products at all resolutions for this article from the Space Telescope Science Institute.
      Media Contacts
      Laura Betz – laura.e.betz@nasa.gov, Rob Gutro – rob.gutro@nasa.gov
      NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
      Claire Blome – cblome@stsci.edu Christine Pulliam – cpulliam@stsci.edu
      Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Md.
      Related Information
      Video: Learn more about Arp 142 and galaxy collisions
      Video: Learn more about galactic collisions
      Video: What happens when galaxies collide?
      Interactive: Explore “Interacting Galaxies: Future of the Milky Way” –
      Video: Galaxy Collisions: Simulations vs. Observations
      Article: More about Galaxy Evolution
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      Webb is the premier observatory of the next decade, serving thousands of astronomers worldwide. It studies every phase in the…


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    • By NASA
      Cosmic Road Trip: four distinct composite images from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and the James Webb Space Telescope, presented in a two-by-two grid, Rho Ophiuchi at lower right, the heart of the Orion Nebula at upper right, the galaxy NGC 3627 at lower left and the galaxy cluster MACS J0416.X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO; Optical/Infrared: (Hubble) NASA/ESA/STScI; IR: (JWST) NASA/ESA/CSA/STScI It’s time to take a cosmic road trip using light as the highway and visit four stunning destinations across space. The vehicles for this space get-away are NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and James Webb Space Telescope.
      The first stop on this tour is the closest, Rho Ophiuchi, at a distance of about 390 light-years from Earth. Rho Ophiuchi is a cloud complex filled with gas and stars of different sizes and ages. Being one of the closest star-forming regions, Rho Ophiuchi is a great place for astronomers to study stars. In this image, X-rays from Chandra are purple revealing infant stars that violently flare and produce X-rays. Infrared data from Webb are red, yellow, cyan, light blue and darker blue and provide views of the spectacular regions of gas and dust.
      X-ray: NASA/CXC/MIT/C. Canizares; IR: NASA/ESA/CSA/STScI/K. Pontoppidan; Image Processing: NASA/ESA/STScI/Alyssa Pagan, NASA/CXC/SAO/L. Frattare and J. Major The next destination is the Orion Nebula. Still located in the Milky Way galaxy, this region is a little bit farther from our home planet at about 1,500 light-years away. If you look just below the middle of the three stars that make up the “belt” in the constellation of Orion, you may be able to see this nebula through a small telescope. With Chandra and Webb, however, we get to see so much more. Chandra reveals young stars that glow brightly in X-rays, colored in red, green, and blue, while Webb shows the gas and dust in darker red that will help build the next generation of stars here.
      X-ray: NASA/CXC/Penn State/E.Fei It’s time to leave our galaxy and visit another. Like the Milky Way, NGC 3627 is a spiral galaxy that we see at a slight angle. NGC 3627 is known as a “barred” spiral galaxy because of the rectangular shape of its central region. From our vantage point, we can also see two distinct spiral arms that appear as arcs. X-rays from Chandra in purple show evidence for a supermassive black hole in its center while Webb finds the dust, gas, and stars throughout the galaxy in red, green, and blue. This image also contains optical data from the Hubble Space Telescope in red, green, and blue.
      Spiral galaxy NGC 3627.X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO; Optical: NASA/ESO/STScI, ESO/WFI; Infrared: NASA/ESA/CSA/STScI/JWST; Image Processing:/NASA/CXC/SAO/J. Major Our final landing place on this trip is the farthest and the biggest. MACS J0416 is a galaxy cluster, which are among the largest objects in the Universe held together by gravity. Galaxy clusters like this can contain hundreds or even thousands of individual galaxies all immersed in massive amounts of superheated gas that Chandra can detect. In this view, Chandra’s X-rays in purple show this reservoir of hot gas while Hubble and Webb pick up the individual galaxies in red, green, and blue.
      ACS J0416 galaxy cluster.X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/G. Ogrean et al.; Optical/Infrared: (Hubble) NASA/ESA/STScI; IR: (JWST) NASA/ESA/CSA/STScI/Jose M. Diego (IFCA), Jordan C. J. D’Silva (UWA), Anton M. Koekemoer (STScI), Jake Summers (ASU), Rogier Windhorst (ASU), Haojing Yan (University of Missouri) NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center manages the Chandra program. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory’s Chandra X-ray Center controls science from Cambridge Massachusetts and flight operations from Burlington, Massachusetts.
      Read more from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory.
      For more Chandra images, multimedia and related materials, visit:
      https://www.nasa.gov/mission/chandra-x-ray-observatory/
      Visual Description:
      This release features four distinct composite images from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and the James Webb Space Telescope, presented in a two-by-two grid.
      At our lower right is Rho Ophiuchi, a cloud complex filled with gas, and dotted with stars. The murky green and gold cloud resembles a ghostly head in profile, swooping down from the upper left, trailing tendrils of hair. Cutting across the bottom edge and lower righthand corner of the image is a long, narrow, brick red cloud which resembles the ember of a stick pulled from a fire. Several large white stars dot the image. Many are surrounded by glowing neon purple rings, and gleam with diffraction spikes.
      At our upper right of the grid is a peek into the heart of the Orion Nebula, which blankets the entire image. Here, the young star nursery resembles a dense, stringy, dusty rose cloud, peppered with thousands of glowing golden, white, and blue stars. Layers of cloud around the edges of the image, and a concentration of bright stars at its distant core, help convey the depth of the nebula.
      In the lower left of the two-by-two grid is a hazy image of a spiral galaxy known as NGC 3627. Here, the galaxy appears pitched at an oblique angle, tilted from our upper left down to our lower right. Much of its face is angled toward us, making its spiral arms, composed of red and purple dots, easily identifiable. Several bright white dots ringed with neon purple speckle the galaxy. At the galaxy’s core, where the spiral arms converge, a large white and purple glow identified by Chandra provides evidence of a supermassive black hole.
      At the upper left of the grid is an image of the distant galaxy cluster known as MACS J0416. Here, the blackness of space is packed with glowing dots and tiny shapes, in whites, purples, oranges, golds, and reds, each a distinct galaxy. Upon close inspection (and with a great deal of zooming in!) the spiraling arms of some of the seemingly tiny galaxies are revealed in this highly detailed image. Gently arched across the middle of the frame is a soft band of purple; a reservoir of superheated gas detected by Chandra.
      News Media Contact
      Megan Watzke
      Chandra X-ray Center
      Cambridge, Mass.
      617-496-7998
      Lane Figueroa
      Marshall Space Flight Center
      Huntsville, Ala.
      256-544-0034
      View the full article
    • By NASA
      The inaugural CHAPEA (Crew Health and Performance Exploration Analog) crew is “back on Earth” after walking out of their simulated Martian habitat at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston on July 6. The first of three simulated missions, CHAPEA Mission 1 was designed to help scientists, engineers, and mission planners better understand how living on another world could affect human health and performance.
      Kelly Haston, commander, Ross Brockwell, flight engineer, Nathan Jones, medical officer, and Anca Selariu, science officer, lived and worked in an isolated 1,700-square-foot, 3D-printed habitat to support human health and performance research to prepare for future missions to Mars.
      “Congratulations to the crew of CHAPEA Mission 1 on their completion of a year in a Mars-simulated environment,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “Through the Artemis missions, we will use what we learn on and around the Moon to take the next giant leap: sending the first astronauts to Mars. The CHAPEA missions are critical to developing the knowledge and tools needed for humans to one day live and work on the Red Planet.”
      The crew stepped out of the habitat and back into the arms of family and friends after a 378-day simulated Mars surface mission that began June 25, 2023.
      This high-fidelity simulation involved the crew carrying out different types of mission objectives, including simulated “marswalks,” robotic operations, habitat maintenance, exercise, and crop growth. The crew also faced intentional environmental stressors in their habitat such as resource limitations, isolation, and confinement. For the next two weeks, the volunteers will complete post-mission data collection activities before returning home.
      “We planned the last 378 days with many of the challenges crews could face on Mars and this crew dedicated their lives over that time to achieve these unprecedented operational objectives,” said CHAPEA Principal Investigator Grace Douglas. “I am looking forward to diving into the data we have gathered, preparing for CHAPEA Mission 2 and eventually, a human presence on Mars.”
      As NASA works to establish a long-term presence for scientific discovery and exploration on the Moon through the Artemis campaign, analog missions like CHAPEA provide scientific data to validate systems and develop technological solutions for future missions to Mars.
      Two additional one-year CHAPEA missions are planned, with the next targeted to begin in 2025. The subsequent missions will be nearly identical, allowing researchers to collect data from more participants to expand the dataset and provide a broader perspective on the impacts of Mars-realistic resource limitations, isolation and confinement on human health and performance.
      NASA has several other avenues for gathering isolation research, including the Human Exploration Research Analog, Antarctica, and other analogs, as well as human spaceflight missions to the International Space Station to ensure key research goals can be completed to inform future human missions to the Moon and Mars.
      The CHAPEA simulated missions are unique because they test the impacts of extended isolation and confinement with the addition of Mars-realistic time delays of communicating to Earth – up to 44-minutes roundtrip – along with resource limitations relevant to Mars, including a more limited food system that can be supported on the space station and in other analogs.
      To view the ceremony of crew exiting their habitat, visit here.
      Under NASA’s Artemis campaign, the agency will establish the foundation for long-term scientific exploration at the Moon, land the first woman, first person of color, and its first international partner astronaut on the lunar surface, and prepare for human expeditions to Mars for the benefit of all.
      Learn more about CHAPEA at:
      www.nasa.gov/humans-in-space/chapea/
      View the full article
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