3D Classifications for Distant Galaxies in Webb’s CEERS Survey (NIRCam Image)

 3D Classifications for Distant Galaxies in Webb’s CEERS Survey (NIRCam Image)

These are examples of distant galaxies captured by NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope in its Cosmic Evolution Early Release Science (CEERS) Survey.

Recent research of the CEERS field led by Viraj Pandya, a NASA Hubble Fellow at Columbia University in New York, showed that galaxies frequently appear flat and elongated, like pool noodles or surfboards (along the top row).

Thin, circular disk-like galaxies, which resemble frisbees, are the next major grouping (bottom left and center).

Finally, galaxies that are shaped like spheres, or volleyballs, made up the smallest fraction of their detections (bottom right).

All of these galaxies are estimated to have existed when the universe was 600 million to 6 billion years old.

These results are still considered preliminary, because the team sorted images of galaxies into broad classes based on similar characteristics. (They did not classify their individual appearances since that would require detailed information from data known as spectra.) Much more analysis of many more distant galaxies is needed to fully determine which galaxy shapes and compositions existed in the early universe.



NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, Steve Finkelstein (UT Austin), Micaela Bagley (UT Austin), Rebecca Larson (UT Austin)

About The Object
Object Name CEERS Survey, Extended Groth Strip
Object Description Deep field survey
R.A. Position 14:19:46
Dec. Position +52:53:37
Constellation Boötes
About The Data
Data Description This image was created with Webb data from proposal: (S. Finkelstein). Image Processing: Alyssa Pagan (STScI).
Instrument NIRCam
Exposure Dates 20-21 Dec 2022, 24 Dec 2022
Filters F115W, F150W, F200W, F277W, F356W, F444W
About The Image
Color Info These images are a composite of separate exposures acquired by the James Webb Space Telescope using the NIRCam instrument. Several filters were used to sample wide wavelength ranges. The color results from assigning different hues (colors) to each monochromatic (grayscale) image associated with an individual filter. In this case, the assigned colors are:   Blue: F115W+F150W Green: F200W + F277W Red: F356W + F444W
About The Object
Object Name A name or catalog number that astronomers use to identify an astronomical object.
Object Description The type of astronomical object.
R.A. Position Right ascension – analogous to longitude – is one component of an object's position.
Dec. Position Declination – analogous to latitude – is one component of an object's position.
Constellation One of 88 recognized regions of the celestial sphere in which the object appears.
Distance The physical distance from Earth to the astronomical object. Distances within our solar system are usually measured in Astronomical Units (AU). Distances between stars are usually measured in light-years. Interstellar distances can also be measured in parsecs.
Dimensions The physical size of the object or the apparent angle it subtends on the sky.
About The Data
Data Description
  • Proposal: A description of the observations, their scientific justification, and the links to the data available in the science archive.
  • Science Team: The astronomers who planned the observations and analyzed the data. "PI" refers to the Principal Investigator.
Instrument The science instrument used to produce the data.
Exposure Dates The date(s) that the telescope made its observations and the total exposure time.
Filters The camera filters that were used in the science observations.
About The Image
Image Credit The primary individuals and institutions responsible for the content.
Publication Date The date and time the release content became public.
Color Info A brief description of the methods used to convert telescope data into the color image being presented.
Orientation The rotation of the image on the sky with respect to the north pole of the celestial sphere.