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I was intrigued by the large dim feature (highlighted below) in the center of the first James Webb image of SMACS 0723. Is anything known about it?

James Webb image of SMACS 0723

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  • $\begingroup$ looks like a galaxy, if I had to guess :-) $\endgroup$
    – Rory Alsop
    Jul 20 at 13:53
  • $\begingroup$ It is intriguing to me as a layperson in a few ways. I have not seen any mention of the feature anywhere. It's the largest and one of the darkest features in the image. Naively, it doesn't look like light coming directly from stars. To me it looks like more like a nebula, except it appears so giant. How far away is it? Also, it is at the center of the cluster on the viewing plane. Is that a coincidence? Is its unique appearance the result of it being behind the cluster with just the right alignment for a spectacular form of gravitational lensing? Can we rule out it being within the cluster? $\endgroup$
    – MVTC
    Jul 28 at 2:05

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