A new photo taken by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has revealed the hidden gaseous "bone" structure of a distant galaxy — and it's absolutely spectacular.

The cosmic knot of gas, dust and stars belongs to the spiral galaxy IC 5332, located in the constellation Sculptor more than 29 million light-years from Earth. As it sits nearly perfectly face-on with respect to Earth, its spiral arms can be seen incredibly clearly.

This isn't the first time IC 5332 has had its photo snapped. The 66,000 light-year-wide galaxy — roughly two-thirds the size of our Milky Way — was also imaged in the past by the Hubble Space Telescope. But Hubble can't see in the infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum, whereas the James Webb Space Telescope can. As a result, the updated image contains so many previously obscured details that it looks almost completely different.

"The Hubble image shows dark regions that seem to separate the spiral arms, whereas the Webb image shows more of a continual tangle of structures that echo the spiral arms' shape," representatives of the European Space Agency (ESA), which captured the new image, wrote in a statement(opens in new tab).

The ESA explained that this difference is because of the galaxy's dust, which is much more likely to scatter ultraviolet and visible light(opens in new tab) (which Hubble sees in) than the infrared frequencies available to the JWST. Different stars are also visible across the two images because some stars shine brighter across different frequencies than others.

Hubble's image of IC 5332 shows the structure of some of the spiral arms obscured by clouds of dust.

In the case of IC 5332, ESA scientists hope that by comparing the Hubble and JWST images of the distant galaxy, they can learn more about the galaxy’s composition and structure, as well as how these may translate to more general patterns witnessed across all spiral galaxies.