New astonishing images by the James Webb telescope have taken the world by storm. Just like we use ordinary machines to dig up the past on our planet this extraordinary equipment may come close to observing birth of the universe! Its mission also includes studying the origin and evolution of galaxies and finding the signs for extraterrestrial life.
Just have a look at these fine images…
(Credit: Webb, NASA, ESA, CSA)
Clearly we are so small in front of the vast and majestic Cosmos. The first image is of SMACS 0723 galactic cluster. Ignore the closer twinkling stars for now… all the other points of pale light are individual galaxies, home to billions and billions of stars.
Because of a phenomenon called gravitational lensing, glimpses of objects situated 13 billion light years away can also be seen on the side, that came into existence shortly after the Big bang.
The second image is that of Southern Ring Nebula, the one also studied by Hubble years prior. Nebula is a cloud of dust and gas formed by outer layers of a dying star, that stretches light years across. Ultimately the star loses its shine and becomes a white dwarf, as clearly pictured by the Webb telescope. It’s like going from 720p to 4K in quality!
Finally, Carina nebula, that looks even more magnificent than a watercolor painting. This is again gas and dust clouds where new stars are about to be born and shine.
How does Webb capture more details than Hubble? It detects infrared waves that have longer wavelength so it can see through these thick clouds and study the early formation of stars, unlike Hubble that majorly sees visible light. It took over 30 years and $10 billion in making the Webb telescope!
It takes time travel to a next level. The universe is so vast that even light, with its enormous speed, takes time to travel. For example, light from the nearest star system takes 4 years to reach earth. When someone looks at Proxima centauri from a telescope they are seeing it the way it looked 4 years ago.
James webb telescope is able to click pictures of objects that are situated billions of light years away! In fact we can see objects as they were 13 billion yrs ago, very close to birth of the universe. Space and time began in the big bang and there were no stars or galaxies in the early universe, so it was dark. The Webb telescope, with its extra-large primary mirror, will see the first stars!