Video of A Galactic Overlap

But Webb also sees different light than Hubble. Webb images mostly in the infrared and near-infrared wavelengths—useful for seeing ancient, redshifted light. Hubble images mostly in optical and ultraviolet wavelengths.

Hubble’s long career as a space observatory has hit a few stumbles lately. Several times in the last few years, the telescope has been forced into safe mode while engineers on Earth figured out technical issues with the spacecraft, which launched in 1991. But the telescope has staggered on.

Webb is widely considered Hubble’s successor, but as the veteran telescope shows with this dazzling image, it is not being replaced. On the contrary, it has a unique way of seeing our universe’s cosmic menagerie, and who are we to turn down such a feast for the eyes?


More: Rebooted Hubble Telescope Wastes No Time, Captures Cool New Pics of Misfit Galaxies