The spiral galaxy NGC 628 is 32 million light years away, in the constellation Pisces. Webb’s image of NGC 628 shows a densely populated frontal spiral galaxy anchored by its central region, which has a light blue haze that takes up about a quarter of the view. In this circular core is the brightest blue area. Within the core are populations of older stars, represented by many points of blue light. Spiny spiral arms made of stars, gas and dust also begin in the center, largely starting in the widest area of the blue haze. The spiral arms extend to the edges and rotate counterclockwise. The spiral filamentous structure resembles a cross section of a nautilus shell. The arms of the galaxy are largely orange, ranging from dark orange to bright orange. Scattered around the crowded scene are a few additional bright blue points of light, which are stars spread throughout the galaxy. In areas where there is less orange, it is darker and some dark regions appear more circular. A prominent dark “bubble” appears at the top left of the blue core. And a wider elliptical “bubble” at the bottom right.
NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, Janice Lee (STScI), Thomas Williams (Oxford) and the PHANGS team