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Cosmic Fossils - LEDA 2046648

Captured during a routine calibration of the instrument, this image has been instrumental in testing Webb's proficiency at unearthing cosmic "fossils." Older galaxies, due to their immense distance, have seen their light elongate into infrared wavelengths with the expansion of the universe — a realm where Webb excels.

Did the large spiral galaxy located towards the lower part of the image pique your interest? It's known as LEDA 2046648 and sits just beyond a billion light-years from Earth, nestled within the constellation Hercules.

Images like this one enable scientists to draw comparisons between these celestial "dinosaurs" and contemporary galaxies. This comparison provides us with valuable insights into the evolutionary processes of galaxies — positioning Webb as the ultimate cosmic paleontologist.

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