New Webb telescope photo truly boggles the mind

There are galaxies everywhere you look.

The powerful James Webb Space Telescope recently captured a new deep-field view of the universe, a glimpse into some of the furthest reaches of space. In the image below, the hundreds of objects you can see (except for the six-pointed stars in the foreground) are galaxies in the black ether of the cosmos, each full of stars and planets. Many are spirals, like our Milky Way Galaxy. The deepest ones appear red because the expanding universe has stretched their light into longer wavelengths of red light.

But that is not everything.


NASA scientist viewed first Voyager images. What he saw gave him chills.

This view, which looks back at galaxies billions of years ago — because it takes so long for such ancient light to reach us — reveals two galaxies and the black holes at their centers that merged only about 740 million years after the Big Bang created our universe. The universe is now 13.7 billion years old.

Specialized instruments aboard the Webb telescope called spectrographs – which separate different types of light into different color spectra, similar to a prism – revealed dense gases spinning rapidly within the galaxies, helping to identify the black holes. (Black holes, which wield extreme gravity, pull matter around themselves in red-hot disks of matter called accretion disks.)

Astronomers have found that early black holes are extremely massive, which is unexpected because they are so young. But new evidence from Webb, like these new insights, shows that the big mergers happened a long time ago.

“Our findings suggest that mergers are an important route through which black holes can grow rapidly, even at cosmic dawn,” Hannah Übler, an astronomer at the University of Cambridge who led the research, said in a statement. ‘Together with other Webb findings of active, massive black holes in the distant universe, our results also show that massive black holes have determined the evolution of galaxies from the very beginning.’

The research was published in the journal Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Mashable speed of light

With the exception of the six-pointed stars, everything in this James Webb Space Telescope image is a galaxy.

With the exception of the six-pointed stars in the foreground, everything in this James Webb Space Telescope image is a galaxy.
Credit: ESA / Webb / NASA / CSA / J. Dunlop / D. Magee / PG Pérez-González / H. Übler / R. Maiolino, et. already

In the right image, the two reddish areas in the center show the ancient merger of two galaxies.

In the right image, the two reddish areas in the center show the ancient merger of two galaxies.
Credit: ESA / Webb / NASA / CSA / J. Dunlop / D. Magee / PG Pérez-González / H. Übler / R. Maiolino, et. already

The powerful capabilities of the Webb telescope

The Webb Telescope – a scientific collaboration between NASA, ESA and the Canadian Space Agency – is designed to peer into the deepest cosmos and reveal new insights about the early universe. But it is also looking at intriguing planets in our Milky Way, along with the planets and moons in our solar system.

Here’s how Webb delivers unparalleled performance, and will likely continue to do so for decades to come:

– Giant mirror: Webb’s mirror, which captures light, is more than six meters wide. That is more than two and a half times larger than the mirror of the Hubble Space Telescope. By capturing more light, Webb can see more distant, ancient objects. As described above, the telescope peers at stars and galaxies that formed more than 13 billion years ago, just a few hundred million years after the Big Bang.

“We’re going to see the very first stars and galaxies ever formed,” Jean Creighton, an astronomer and director of the Manfred Olson Planetarium at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, told Mashable in 2021.

– Infrared display: Unlike Hubble, which largely observes light that is visible to us, Webb is primarily an infrared telescope, meaning it observes light in the infrared spectrum. This allows us to see much more of the universe. Infrared has longer wavelengths than visible light, allowing the light waves to slip through cosmic clouds more efficiently; light does not collide with and scatter by these tightly packed particles as often. Ultimately, Webb’s infrared vision could penetrate places Hubble can’t reach.

“It lifts the veil,” Creighton said.

– Looking at distant exoplanets: The Webb telescope has specialized equipment called spectrographs that will revolutionize our understanding of these distant worlds. The instruments can decipher which molecules (such as water, carbon dioxide and methane) exist in the atmospheres of distant exoplanets – whether they are gas giants or smaller rocky worlds. Webb will look at exoplanets in the Milky Way Galaxy. Who knows what we’ll find?

“We might learn things we never thought about,” Mercedes López-Morales, an exoplanet researcher and astrophysicist at the Center for Astrophysics-Harvard & Smithsonian, told Mashable in 2021.

Astronomers have already successfully found intriguing chemical reactions on a planet 700 light-years away, and as described above, the observatory has begun exploring one of the most anticipated places in the cosmos: the rocky Earth-sized planets of TRAPPIST -solar planet. system.

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