Webb begins hunt for the first stars and habitable worlds

15/07/2022 9:10:00 AM

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Here is a look at two early projects that will take advantage of the orbiting observatory’s powerful instruments. READ:

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This image released by NASA on July 12, 2022, from the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) shows a landscape of “mountains” and “valleys” speckled with glittering stars which is actually the edge of a nearby, young, star-forming region called NGC 3324 in the Carina Nebula. Captured in infrared light by the JWST, this image reveals for the first time previously invisible areas of star birth. – The JWST is the most powerful telescope launched into space and it reached its final orbit around the sun, approximately 930,000 miles from Earths orbit, in January, 2022. The technological improvements of the JWST and distance from the sun will allow scientists to see much deeper into our universe with greater detail. (Photo by Handout / NASA / AFP)

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Agence-France-Presse WASHINGTON, United States – The first stunning images from the James Webb Space Telescope were revealed this week, but its journey of cosmic discovery has only just begun.The White House sneak peek of Webb’s first high-resolution, full-color image came on the eve of a larger unveiling of photos and spectrographic data that NASA plans to showcase on Tuesday at the Goddard Space Flight Center in suburban Maryland.WASHINGTON, United States – The James Webb Space Telescope’s first images aren’t just breathtaking — they contain a wealth of scientific insights and clues that researchers are eager to pursue.The White House sneak peek of Webb’s first high-resolution, full-color image came on the eve of a larger unveiling of photos and spectrographic data that NASA plans to showcase on Tuesday at the Goddard Space Flight Center in suburban Maryland.

Here is a look at two early projects that will take advantage of the orbiting observatory’s powerful instruments. This image released by NASA on July 12, 2022, from the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) shows a landscape of “mountains” and “valleys” speckled with glittering stars which is actually the edge of a nearby, young, star-forming region called NGC 3324 in the Carina Nebula. The image showcased by Mr. Captured in infrared light by the JWST, this image reveals for the first time previously invisible areas of star birth. This enormous mosaic is JWST’s largest image to date, covering about one-fifth of the Moon’s diameter. – The JWST is the most powerful telescope launched into space and it reached its final orbit around the sun, approximately 930,000 miles from Earths orbit, in January, 2022.6-billion-year-old galaxy cluster named SMACS 0723, whose combined mass acts as a “gravitational lens,” distorting space to greatly magnify the light coming from more distant galaxies behind it. The technological improvements of the JWST and distance from the sun will allow scientists to see much deeper into our universe with greater detail. At least one of the faint, older specs of light appearing in the “background” of the photo — a composite of images of different wavelengths of light — dates back more than 13 billion years, Mr.

(Photo by Handout / NASA / AFP) The first stars and galaxies One of the great promises of the telescope is its ability to study the earliest phase of cosmic history, shortly after the Big Bang 13. Nelson said.” The white circles and ellipses are from the galaxy cluster in the foreground called SMACS 0723, as it appeared more than 4.8 billion years ago. The more distant objects are from us, the longer it takes for their light to reach us, and so to gaze back into the distant universe is to look back in the deep past.8 billion years ago. ”We’re going to look back into that earliest time to see the first galaxies that formed in the history of the universe,” explained Space Telescope Science Institute astronomer Dan Coe, who specializes in the early universe. NASA astrophysicist Amber Straughn said she was struck by ”the astounding detail that you can see in some of these galaxies. Astronomers have so far gone back 97 percent of the way back to the Big Bang, but ”we just see these tiny red specks when we look at these galaxies that are so far away. Biden said before the picture was unveiled. Biden said before the picture was unveiled.

” ”With Webb, we’ll finally be able to see inside these galaxies and see what they’re made of.” While today’s galaxies are shaped like spirals or ellipticals, the earliest building blocks were ”clumpy and irregular,” and Webb should reveal older redder stars in them, more like our Sun, that were invisible to the Hubble Space Telescope. It’s astounding to me. The composite image, which required a 12. Coe has two Webb projects coming up — observing one of the most distant galaxies known, MACS0647-JD, which he found in 2013, and Earendel, the most distant star ever detected, which was found in March of this year. While the public has been enticed by Webb’s stunning pictures, which are shot in infrared because light from the far cosmos has stretched into these wavelengths as the universe expanded, scientists are equally keen on spectroscopy. FROM GRAIN OF SAND IN THE SKY On Friday, the space agency posted a list of five celestial subjects chosen for its showcase debut of Webb. Analyzing the light spectrum of an object reveals its properties, including temperature, mass, and chemical composition — effectively, forensic science for astronomy.8 billion years ago. These include SMACS 0723, a bejeweled-like sliver of the distant cosmos that according to NASA offers “the most detailed view of the early universe to date.

Science doesn’t yet know what the earliest stars, which probably started forming 100 million years after the Big Bang, will look like.” It also constitutes the deepest and sharpest infrared image of the distant cosmos ever taken. ”We might see things that are very different,” said Coe — so-called ”Population III” stars that are theorized to have been much more massive than our own Sun, and ”pristine,” meaning they were made up solely of hydrogen and helium. These eventually exploded in supernovae, contributing to the cosmic chemical enrichment that created the stars and planets we see today. Nelson said. (Photo by Handout / NASA / AFP) / The hunt for habitable planets Webb captured the signature of water, along with previously undetected evidence of clouds and haze, in the atmosphere surrounding a hot, puffy gas giant planet called WASP-96 b that orbits a distant star like our Sun. Some are doubtful these pristine Population III stars will ever be found — but that won’t stop the astronomical community from trying. Anyone out there? Astronomers won time on Webb based on a competitive selection process, open to all regardless of how advanced they are in their careers.N.N.

Olivia Lim, a doctoral student at the University of Montreal, is only 25 years old. But what really excites astronomers is the prospect of pointing Webb at smaller, rocky worlds, like our own Earth, to search for atmospheres and bodies of liquid water that could support life. ”I was not even born when people started talking about this telescope,” she told AFP. The highly anticipated release of its first imagery follows six months of remotely unfurling Webb’s various components, aligning its mirrors and calibrating instruments. Her goal: to observe the roughly Earth-sized rocky planets revolving around a star named Trappist-1. They are so close to each other that from the surface of one, you could see the others appearing clearly in the sky. Built to view its subjects chiefly in the infrared spectrum, Webb is about 100 times more sensitive than its 30-year-old predecessor, the Hubble Space Telescope, which operates mainly at optical and ultraviolet wavelengths. These nebulae will eventually also lead to rebirth. ”The Trappist-1 system is unique,” explains Lim. The much larger light-collecting surface of Webb’s primary mirror — an array of 18 hexagonal segments of gold-coated beryllium metal — enables it to observe objects at greater distances, thus further back in time, than Hubble or any other telescope.

”Almost all of the conditions there are favorable for the search for life outside our solar system. All five of Webb’s introductory targets were previously known to scientists.” In addition, three of Trappist-1’s seven planets are in the Goldilocks ”habitable zone,” neither too close nor too far from their star, permitting the right temperatures for liquid water to exist on their surface. MIRI pierced through dust-enshrouded regions to reveal huge shock waves and tidal tails, gas and stars stripped from the outer regions of the galaxies by interactions. The system is ”only” 39 light year away — and we can see the planets transit in front of their star. The collection also includes a galaxy cluster known as Stephan’s Quintet, which was first discovered in 1877 and encompasses several galaxies described by NASA as “locked in a cosmic dance of repeated close encounters. This makes it possible to observe the drop in luminosity that crossing the star produces, and use spectroscopy to infer planetary properties. It’s not yet known if these planets have an atmosphere, but that’s what Lim is looking to find out. — Reuters. (Photo by Handout / NASA / AFP) A cosmic dance Stephan’s Quintet, a grouping of five galaxies, is located in the constellation Pegasus. — Reuters.

If so, the light passing through these atmospheres will be ”filtered” through the molecules it contains, leaving signatures for Webb. The jackpot for her would be to detect the presence of water vapor, carbon dioxide and ozone. Trappist-1 is such a prime target that several other science teams have also been granted time to observe them. By studying it, ”you learn how the galaxies collide and merge,” said cosmologist John Mather, adding our own Milky Way was probably assembled out of 1,000 smaller galaxies. Finding traces of life there, if they exist, will still take time, according to Lim. But ”everything we’re doing this year are really important steps to get to that ultimate goal.

” . Here, for the first time, Webb has revealed previously invisible regions of star formation, which will tell us more about why stars form with certain mass, and what determines the number that form in a certain region.