The James Webb Space Telescope just provided some amazing new images of the universe

One of those observations was a detailed study of the atmosphere of a gas giant planet 1,000 light-years from Earth, known as WASP-96 b. By observing the dip in light as the planet passes in front of its host star, JWST has been able to probe this world’s atmosphere, a technique it will use to study many planets. other in the future.

“You’re seeing the collisions and wiggles that show it,” said Knicole Colón, astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and deputy planetary science project at the James Webb Space Telescope. presence of water vapor in the atmosphere. reveal observations.

“These are probably the most difficult observations JWST will ever make,” said Don Pollacco, an astronomer at the University of Warwick in the UK. JWST is thought to have an unparalleled ability to find methane and other potential signs of life in the atmospheres of planets similar in size to our own.

Southern Ring Nebula, NGC 3132, Eight Burst . Nebula
Instruments aboard JWST captured these two images of the Southern Ring Nebula, about 2,500 light-years away.


Also announced today is JWST’s view of a dying star flung out of its outer layers, a planetary nebula known as the Southern Ring Nebula located about 2,500 light-years from Earth. Much more detailed view than an image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in 1998 and revealed for the first time two stars known to be the centers of the nebula.

Another image (shown at the beginning of this story) shows an exquisite look at Stephan’s Quartet, a group of five galaxies about 300 million light-years from Earth. Four of these galaxies are interacting, transferring gas and dust between them. JWST’s view of galaxies in infrared light shows never before how those interactions are driving star formation inside galaxies. The optical power of JWST is so great that individual stars can be seen inside galaxies. “It’s remarkable,” said Mark McCaughrean, senior adviser for science and exploration at the European Space Agency. “We are ready to raise this telescope to 11.”

Star-forming region in the Carina . Nebula
Edge of the star-forming region in the Carina Nebula, imaged by JWST.


The final image provided is a refreshing look at the Carina Nebula, an active star-forming region nearly 8,000 light-years from Earth. According to Amber Straughn, an astrophysicist at NASA Goddard and NASA’s deputy project scientist, the magnificent vista work unveiled by JWST reveals hundreds of never-seen-before new stars, and even new stars. structure in the dust and gas of the nebula. JWST.

Thanks to JWST, “we can see a lot of detail,” says Straughn. “It really reveals what’s going on here.”

First image from the James Webb . space telescope
This JWST “deep field” image, full of galaxies, was released by President Biden on Monday.


These images are just a little tantalizing about what’s to come from JWST. The telescope has now begun its first year of scheduled scientific observations. Countless more stunning vistas and an abundance of priceless data are set to come to us.

“It’s a new window in the history of our universe,” President Biden said yesterday. “We’re seeing the first light coming through that window.”

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