November 29, 2022

Balkan Travellers

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See the first images from the James Webb Space Telescope

A cracker! This Tuesday afternoon, the US, European and Canadian space agencies presented aspects of the universe we’ve never seen before. These were the first color films James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) Since its launch in Guyana six months ago, apart from A taste was revealed a few hours ago by US President Joe Biden.

The event aims to demonstrate JWST’s unprecedented capabilities compared to its predecessors: the most distant light emission ever observed, 13 billion years ago, when the universe was very young. More beautiful and precise than any “photograph” of the universe ever obtained, the images revealed on Tuesday show two nebulae and a group of galaxies.

Among the celestial objects chosen for this demonstration, one of the brightest in the sky is the Carina Nebula, located nearly 7600 light-years away. It gave birth to many massive stars. As for the austral ring nebula NGC 3132, it takes the form of a halo around a couple of stars, the telescope was able to confirm.

Fantastic five

Another immortal object, a group of galaxies baptized Stephen’s quintet, four galaxies interacting with each other, and a fifth, closer, completes the picture. Space agencies have presented WASP-96b, a gas giant planet, confirming the presence of water through the web in the form of clouds.

Overnight, the White House released the first image of the deep universe, showing galaxies formed after the Big Bang 13 billion years ago. Under gravity, the galaxy cluster SMACS 0723, at its closest, gives these distant objects a curious elongated shape. No telescope has ever been able to see this far.

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Launched on December 25 by an Ariane 5 rocket from Guyana, JWST, Hubble Space Telescope With 30 years of service, two decades of data and images to offer. It is the result of a joint effort between NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Canadian agency CSA.