Monday, October 3, 2022

New images from the James Webb Space Telescope reveal more details about our Galaxy – debrief

The James Webb Space Telescope recently sent a new series of stellar Images Captured by its high-powered camera system. The latest batch of images is part of a final phase of testing by NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) using an instrument on the telescope, MIRI, that allowed test images to be taken with higher resolution, revealing more details about the formation. of our galaxy.

Background: Shiny, New Telescope

The James Webb Space Telescope was launched in december by 2021, and has since reached its destination in space. It is now undergoing remote testing, including ensuring 18 hexagonal The mirrors are properly aligned for better image capture. The telescope was built and funded by NASA, ESA and the Canadian Space Agency. It is designed to succeed the famous Hubble Telescope by photographing the stars in our galaxy in hopes of revealing more about the galaxy’s origins.

Using a mid-infrared instrument (Miri) telescope targets older stars that appear red due to an expanding universe. Conversely, younger stars appear more blue, because they are not as far away as older, redder stars. Targeting these stars has already given NASA scientists more information about older parts of our universe with new images.

Analysis: Images from MIRI

MIRI on the James Webb Space Telescope consists of a camera and a spectrograph that senses certain wavelengths. Once it detects these specific wavelengths, between 5 to 28 Micron, it will take a picture of that area. Thanks to the combination of the spectrograph and the camera, the image appears to have a higher resolution. According to MIRI’s chief scientist for the telescope and a University of Arizona professor, Marcia Ricky: “It’s not until you really see the kind of image that it delivers that you really internalize and go ‘Wow!’ Just think about what we’re going to learn.”

One of the MIRI images shows a portion of the Large Magellanic Cloud, a dense region of stars used to test the James Webb Space Telescope’s camera. This MIRI image This was compared to similar ones taken by the Infrared Array Camera of NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. Comparing the two, it is not surprising to see the improvements made by MIRI.

Outlook: More Replies

Thanks to these enhancements, researchers will be able to better see galaxy structures as well as the gas compositions of stars. Researchers using these images will undoubtedly be able to make further discoveries about our galaxy. In this one distinctive MIRI image, researchers are already able to identify some of the gas that is being emitted by the stars, giving more information about how they formed.


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With next steps to follow, James Webb Space Telescope scientists are hoping to conclude testing of the telescope Device And transition toward comments later this summer. With this new telescope, scientists around the world are hoping to learn more about our universe, ushering in a new era of astronomy.

Kenna Castleberry is a staff writer at Daybrief and science communicator at the District (a partnership between the University of Colorado Boulder and NIST). She focuses on Deep Tech, Metaverse and Quantum Technology. You can find more of his work on his website: https://kennacastleberry.com/

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