These 5 photos from James Webb Space Telescope will blow your mind.
This week, NASA unveiled five images from the James Webb Space Telescope for the first time.
The combination of these photographs, which range from the formation of stars with one of the most in-depth views into the farthest reaches of space, provides several of the most illuminating vistas of the origins of our universe yet seen.
Here's what each image depicts :
1. SMACS 0723
Webb's cameras can see deep into space as well as far back in time. The furthest distance we have ever observed in space is 13.6 billion light years, which Webb is capable of seeing. There are millions of galaxies in this view of the SMACS 0723 galactic cluster, many of which are 13 billion light years. (A light year is approximately 6 trillion miles.) We are not viewing the galaxies as they seem right now, but as they were 13 billion years ago since sunlight takes a very long time to reach such a great distance. Bluer galaxies are older, with more stars and less dust. The redder galaxies have more dust, which is still generating stars.
2. Carina Nebula
The 7,600 light-year-distance Carina Nebula is one of the universe's largest star nurseries. Stars, like people, are born, grow older, and eventually pass away. The huge peaks of clouds of gas and dust, some of which are as high as seven light - years from earth, that resemble cliff formations. Carina had already been seen by the Hubble Space Telescope, but never in the stunning detail that Webb has presented. Young stars are forming in this tumultuous area, merging from the surrounding material. As stars develop, they emit vast quantities of energy, which contribute to the overall structure of the nebula. The red spots in the picture represent energy jets released by the developing stars.
3. Stephan’s Quintet
The five galaxies known collectively as Stephan's Quintet were originally observed by astronomers in 1877, and Webb obtained the best photograph of it ever. The group of five is arguably more of a quartet since the leftmost galaxy is in the foreground and is just 40 million light years away from Earth, whilst the other four are 290,000,000 light years away. Dust and stars are gravitationally dragged from one to the other in the four densely packed galaxies, mixing their materials. In the picture, clusters of newborn stars appear as dazzling sparkles, while hundreds of distant galaxies can be seen in the distance.
4. Southern Ring Nebula
It's remarkable how beautiful dying stars can be, and two of them may be twice as impressive. Webb photographed these pair of old stars circling each other about 2,500 light years away from Earth. Nebulae, or clouds, which encircle dying stars are created by the gas and dust that they release as they approach their end of their life. In addition to taking pictures of the Southern Ring Nebula, Webb can also study its chemistry to learn more about how stars lose their outer layers as they age. The younger and less developed of the two stars, which is brighter, has not yet produced as much material emission. The gaseous nebula is stirred by the stars as they move around each other, giving it its distinctive appearance.
5. WASP 96 b
A scientific graph isn't as visually appealing as a cosmic photograph, but in this case, the graph tells a tale. Webb is researching exoplanets, or worlds that orbit other stars, specifically the composition of their atmospheres. Webb can examine the starlight passing through the planet's atmosphere as it approaches its parent star, searching for the chemical signatures of life. The planet WASP 96 B, which is 1,150 light years away from Earth and resembles Jupiter, was the subject of Webb's analysis in the graph below. Although Webb did not discover any biological organisms, it did discover lots of fluids in the planet's clouds, and water is essential for the existence of all sustaining life it.