Waiting for the release of “James Webb” .. 5 exciting pictures...

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Waiting for the release of “James Webb” .. 5 exciting pictures of the universe taken by previous generations of telescopes, today, Friday, December 24, 2021 05:40 pm

The upcoming launch of the James Webb Space Telescope is expected to provide unprecedented new opportunities for astronomers.

Astronomers rarely use their telescopes to take pictures. Images in astrophysics are usually created through a process of scientific inference and imagination, sometimes visualized in artistic impressions of what the data suggests.

Pending the launch of the most powerful telescope ever, from NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency, we can take a look at some of the best images produced by the data of previous generations of telescopes.

1. Buyer poles

This image was produced by NASA’s Juno mission, which is currently orbiting Jupiter. The image was taken in October 2017, when the spacecraft was 18,906 kilometers from the tops of Jupiter’s clouds.

The mission observed a cloud system in the northern hemisphere of the planet, and this image represents our first examination of the poles of Jupiter.

Waiting for launch

Waiting for launch

NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS

And the parts of the planet near its north pole look completely different from the parts we saw earlier near the equator. By looking at Jupiter’s poles, Juno showed us a different view of a familiar planet.

2. The Eagle Nebula

Astronomers can obtain unique information by building telescopes that are sensitive to “colour” light that our eyes can see. And the familiar rainbow is just a tiny part of what physicists call the electromagnetic spectrum.

Waiting for launch

G. Li Causi, IAPS/INAF, Italy, CC BY 4.0

Beyond red is infrared radiation, which carries less energy than optical light. The infrared camera can see things that are too cold to be detected by the human eye.

And in space, it can also see through dust, which otherwise, completely obscures our view.

The James Webb Space Telescope will be the largest infrared observatory ever launched.

So far, the European Space Agency’s Herschel space observatory has been the largest. The image we’ve chosen here is Herschel’s view of star formation in the Eagle Nebula, also known as M16.

A nebula is a cloud of gases in space. It is about 6,500 light years from Earth, which is very close by astronomical standards. This nebula is a powerful site for star formation.

The feature near the center of the image is called the Pillars of Creation. Like the thumb and forefinger pointing up and a little to the left, these plumes appear in a cavity in a giant cloud of molecular gas and dust. Winds from newly formed energetic new stars are sweeping inside the cloud cavity.

3. Galactic Center

He used infrared light to image the center of the Milky Way, this time collecting data from two NASA telescopes: Hubble and Spitzer.

The bright white region in the lower right of the image identifies the center of our galaxy, which contains a supermassive black hole called Sagittarius A*, a cluster of stars and the remains of a massive star that exploded as a supernova about 10,000 years ago.

Waiting for launch

Hubble: NASA, ESA, and Q.D. Wang (University of Massachusetts, Amherst); Spitzer: NASA, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and S. Stolovy (Spitzer Science Center/Caltech)

Other star clusters are visible as well. The five-twin cluster in the lower left of the image is inside a bubble where star winds have removed local gas and dust.

At the top left are a group called arcs, named for the luminous gas arcs that extend above and beyond the image. These two groups include some of the most massive stars known.

4 – Abel 370

On scales much larger than individual galaxies, the universe is made up of a network of filaments (long, connected filaments) of dark matter. Some of the most dramatic visible are clusters of galaxies that form at the intersection of filaments.

Waiting for launch

NASA, ESA, and J. Lotz and the HFF Team (STScI)

And if we look at clusters of nearby galaxies (relatively speaking, of course), we can see exciting evidence that Einstein was right when he asserted that mass curves space. One of the most beautiful examples of this space curvature can be seen in the Hubble image of Abell 370, released in 2017.

Abell 370 defines it as a group of hundreds of galaxies about five billion light-years away from us.

In the enlarged, distorted image of galaxies, we can see long arcs of light. Mass distorts spacetime, bends light from distant objects, magnifies them and in some cases creates multiple images of the same distant galaxy. This phenomenon is called a gravitational lensing, because the twisted spacetime acts like an optical lens.

It is noteworthy that these enlarged images show the thick bright arc above and to the left of the center of the image. This arc called “the dragon” consists of two images of the same distant galaxy at its head and tail. Overlapping images of many distant galaxies form the arc of the dragon’s body.

5. Hubble’s ultra-deep field

In an inspiring idea, astronomers decided to guide Hubble into an empty patch of sky for several days to discover objects so far away that it can be seen at the edge of the visible universe.

The Hubble Ultra-Deep Field contains about 10,000 objects, almost all of which are very distant galaxies. The light from some of these galaxies has been traveling for more than 13 billion years, when the universe was only about half a billion years old.

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NASA, ESA, and S. Beckwith (STScI) and the HUDF Team, CC BY

And the light could be seen from the ancient stars whose local contemporaries had long since disappeared.

The oldest galaxies formed during the era of reionization, when the weak gas in the universe became immersed in starlight that was able to separate electrons from hydrogen. This was another major change in the properties of the universe as a whole.

Source: phys.org

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