Astonishing Phantom Galaxy image produced by citizen scientist from Webb Telescope data

For more than a decade, Judy Schmidt, an amateur space image processor, has created astounding images from data acquired by space telescopes like Hubble. Now with fresh data streaming back from the James Webb Space Telescope, Schmidt is like a kid in a galactic candy store. Based on brand new Webb data, she created the image above, titled Phantom Galaxy, by "squeezing some color out of the various filters showing all the glowing dust in the center of NGC628," aka the "perfect spiral" galaxy.

…The Phantom Galaxy is scientifically interesting because of the intermediate-mass black hole scientists believe is embedded at its heart.

The galaxy has been imaged professionally many times before, including by space observatories such as the Hubble Space Telescope and the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE). What makes Webb imagery stand apart from these past efforts is the mid-infrared range that highlights cosmic dust, along with the power of its unique 18-segment hexagonal mirror and deep-space location.