Dec 19, 2022
One could be forgiven for mistaking the newest pictures from the James Webb Space Telescope for gemstones. But the images are actually galaxies and stars. Some are so distant that their light has taken 13.5 billion years to reach us.
The Webb Telescope uses special light to read the positions of stars, planets, and other objects in space. Some can't be seen by the human eye. The images at the center of the new study are of the North Ecliptic Pole.
"Little did I know … that (the telescope) would yield such a treasure trove of distant galaxies,” a research scientist at Arizona State University and the co-author of the study told CBS News. "I can see streams, tails, shells and halos of stars in their outskirts, the leftovers of their building blocks."
A team in Australia used the Webb Telescope to focus on the Southern Ring Nebula. It's a burst of orange and blue light surrounding a dense white dwarf star. The tiny star is younger than our sun. At one point, it was three times larger than our sun. The gravity of stars close to the dwarf star have drawn away much of its gas. That's left a halo of color behind.
“This was a star that lived fast and died young, compared to our five-billion-year-old Sun,” one professor told SciTechDaily. Our sun is likely to live for another 5 billion years.
Photos from NASA Webb Telescope.
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