Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
2024 February 6
Explanation: What's different about this galaxy? Very little, which makes the Spanish Dancer galaxy, NGC 1566, one of the most typical and photogenic spirals on the sky. There is something different about this galaxy image, though, because it is a diagonal combination of two images: one by the Hubble Space Telescope on the upper left, and the other by the James Webb Space Telescope on the lower right. The Hubble image was taken in ultraviolet light and highlights the locations of bright blue stars and dark dust along the galaxy's impressive spiral arms. In contrast, the Webb image was taken in infrared light and highlights where the same dust emits more light than it absorbed. In the rollover image, the other two sides of these images are revealed. Blinking between the two images shows which stars are particularly hot because they glow brighter in ultraviolet light, and the difference between seemingly empty space and infrared-glowing dust.
Authors & editors:
Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Amber Straughn; Specific rights apply.
A service of: ASD at NASA / GSFC,
NASA Science Activation
& Michigan Tech. U.