- Jonathan Amos
- BBC Science Correspondent
A “star incubator” and a “cosmic dance” – two amazing images captured by NASA’s $10 billion James Webb Telescope.
NASA released these images to the world to demonstrate the telescope’s readiness to launch science projects.
The James Webb Space Telescope has been in the testing and testing phase for six months since launch.
Webb is seen as the successor to the famous Hubble telescope. It is expected to represent a leap in research in at least twenty years.
The Webb Telescope is a joint project of the US, European and Canadian space agencies led by NASA.
Webb’s telescope is powered to observe the sky in the infrared spectrum – light hidden at distances undetectable to the naked eye.
This will allow the Webb telescope to probe deeper into the universe than the previous Hubble telescope. Then stop at events that occurred in ancient times – about 13.5 billion years ago.
Astronomers are relying on the capabilities of modern-technology Web telescopes to study the atmospheres of planets belonging to the Milky Way in the hope of uncovering traces of life.
This batch of images is the first drop of rain to come, according to British researcher Gillian Wright, “Whenever you look at the sky in a new way, you’ll see things you didn’t expect.”
“This new information is promising, it’s high-quality and the telescope found it in just a few hours – that fact simply means there are many more discoveries to be announced,” the director of the UK’s Wright Space Technology Center told the BBC.
Carina Nebula (Cloud Base)
The Carina Nebula was a classic target for the Hubble telescope — the precursor to the Webb — but with the latest telescope we came to a very different conclusion.
The Carina Cloud is one of the largest and brightest nebulae in the sky. The Carina Nebula is 7,600 light years from Earth.
A nebula, as astronomers know it, is a nursery for stars that appear as huge clouds of gas and dust from which new stars form.
We can’t see the stars except for this image observed through a web telescope. Not only that; We even see clouds of gas and dust.
Here, astronomers refer to what are described as cosmic mountain barriers that separate the dust in the lower half and the gas in the upper half.
One of the goals of the Webb telescope is to study how stars form. The Carina Nebula is an ideal place to achieve this goal.
SMAX 0723 is a massive galaxy. Astronomers describe them as “attractive lenses” because they collect and amplify light emitted by distant objects.
An arc-like formation can be seen in every direction – and this formation or arc is actually a galaxy far away in both space and time. Yes; Light from some of those arcs takes more than 13 billion years to reach us.
Here’s something a little different – some of the arcs scattered on both sides of the image are actually the same objects, but their light is being attracted by the SMAX 0723 lens from more than one direction.
Southern Ring Nebula (Eight Bursts)
Other images of this nebula were taken by the Hubble Space Telescope.
The Southern Ring Nebula, or Eight Banks Nebula, is a large envelope of gas and dust from the ancient burning of a now-extinguished star at the center of this nebula.
As stars age, they change the way they produce energy and shed their outer shells. But once the heat returns to the star’s core, it supplies energy to all the envelopes it previously ejected.
The Southern Ring Nebula is about half a light-year in diameter. The nebula is located about 2,000 light-years from Earth.
This type of celestial body is called a “planetary nebula”, although, in fact, it has nothing to do with planets, but was mistakenly given this name in the early days of telescopes, which did not have the ability to observe their counterparts. Be happy today.
As much as the people behind the Web telescope want to know how stars are born, they also want to know how they die.
There, 290 million light-years away, in the northern sky is Stephen’s Quintet, where five galaxies are called the Winged Horse.
Stefan’s Quintet are the first galaxies ever discovered. Of these five galaxies, four dance repeatedly in narrow closed orbits.
At first glance, this image taken by the Webb telescope may not seem that different from the previous image taken by the Hubble telescope, but the new image’s sensitivity to infrared light highlights new features for astronomers.
That’s the hope: the James Webb telescope will complement its predecessor, the Hubble; Each has its strengths, and the difference between the images they capture can benefit researchers in their astronomical studies.
It is not known how much longer scientists will use the 32-year-old Hubble telescope. But NASA officials for Hubble had a budget plan of no more than five years. However, we must not lose hope.
It’s not just a pretty picture. It is very beautiful. Half of what Web telescopes do is spectroscopic microscopy.
This involves breaking down light into its structural components, its ‘colour’, to reveal things about the characteristics of the target object – what is it made of? How fast is it moving? And what is its temperature? And so on.
This image shows a spectrum taken by the Webb Atmosphere Telescope of the giant planet “WASP-96b” located about 1,150 light-years from Earth outside our solar system.
Wasp-96b is similar to Jupiter; With its large gas envelope.
The James Webb telescope is capable of distinguishing particles in the atmosphere with amazing precision. The picture clearly shows signs of steam.
Wasp-96b is not considered a habitable planet; It is very close to its host star, so it is very hot.
But the Webb telescope will target planets with Earth-like atmospheres. And then we wonder about the possibility of human habitation on those planets.
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