Carina Nebula: Nebulae are the stellar nurseries in which stars are born. Carina is one of the largest and brightest in the night skies, approximately 7,600 light-years away, in the constellation Carina, and home to many stars several more times massive than our Sun. It’s also home to the most luminous star we know of in the Milky Way — the primary star of WR25, a binary star system. It’s about 2.4 million times brighter than our sun.
Astronomers are releasing images of stellar nurseries, a gas-giant exoplanet, a quintet of galaxies and an expanding cloud of gas around a dying star as the most powerful telescope yet continues to show off its prowess at probing the depths of the universe.
After nearly two decades and $10 billion, the James Webb Space Telescope — called by one of its creators “arguably the most complex machine that humanity has ever built” — was on Tuesday morning publicly sharing the fruit of its astronomical capabilities with the rest of the planet.
The new images follow the sneak peek offered Monday in the form of a first picture — a deep field view back in time to some of the earliest days of the universe, aided by the gravitational pull of a cluster of galaxies. The debut image was released as NASA officials briefed U.S. President Joe Biden on the Webb telescope.
President Joe Biden unveiled this image of galaxy cluster SMACS 0723, known as Webb’s First Deep Field, during a White House event Monday, July 11.
Webb’s image covers a patch of sky approximately the size of a grain of sand held at arm’s length by someone on the ground – and reveals thousands of galaxies in a tiny sliver of vast universe.
Webb’s sharp near-infrared view brought out faint structures in extremely distant galaxies, offering the most detailed view of the early universe to date. NASA and its partners will release the full series of Webb’s first full-color images and data, known as spectra, Tuesday, July 12, during a live NASA TV broadcast.
This December 22, may become known as the day the universe changed.
That Wednesday, NASA expects to launch the James Webb Space Telescope, the largest and most expensive instrument ever flown.
One hundred times more powerful than the 31-year-old Hubble Telescope, Webb can see back in time all the way to the “let there be light” moment—that instant when a cold, dark universe ignited into stars.
Scott Pelley: Wow. Well, somehow, that’s a lot bigger than I imagined. Amy Lo: She’s a big one.
Quasars are very bright, distant and active supermassive black holes that are millions to billions of times the mass of the Sun.
Typically located at the centers of galaxies, they feed on infalling matter and unleash fantastic torrents of radiation.
Among the brightest objects in the universe, a quasar’s light outshines that of all the stars in its host galaxy combined, and its jets and winds shape the galaxy in which it resides. Shortly after its launch later this year, a team of scientists will train NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope on six of the most distant and luminous quasars.
They will study the properties of these quasars and their host galaxies, and how they were interconnected during the first stages of galaxy evolution in the very early universe. The team will also use the quasars to examine the gas in the space between galaxies, particularly during the period of cosmic reionization, which ended when the universe was very young. They will accomplish this using Webb’s extreme sensitivity to low levels of light and its superb angular resolution.
NASA’s $10 Billion Time Machine 544,770 views•Mar 23, 2021
Scheduled to launch this Halloween, the James Webb Space Telescope will peer back in time billions of years to unlock some of the greatest secrets in the universe. Telescope scientists Heidi Hammel and Matt Mountain share their insights into the coolest space telescope ever.