Explore the “invisible universe” with extraordinary NASA images
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The James Webb Space Telescope has launched its first images of what NASA calls the “invisible universe”. The photos captured targets including the South Ring Nebula, Carina Nebula, Stephan’s Quintet, SMACS 0723 and WASP-96b.
The successor project to the Hubble Space Telescope is the result of a collaboration between NASA, the Canadian Space Agency and the European Space Agency.
Planning for the telescope began 30 years ago, and NASA Administrator Bill Nelson described the telescope’s goal as finding answers to “questions we don’t even know how to ask yet.”
According to NASA, the telescope view of WASP-96b, about 1,150 light-years from Earth, has discovered the signature of water and evidence of clouds and haze in a planet’s atmosphere. gas giant. This advance could lead to the discovery of habitable worlds beyond Earth.
The telescope image of the Southern Ring Nebula, about 2,000 light-years away, shows what’s left of an exploded star. The telescope will be able to analyze the dust and gas expelled from dying stars that could eventually develop into a new star or planet.
The image of the Carina Nebula, some 7,500 light-years away, looks like a mountain range dubbed the “cosmic cliffs.” It also featured a star-forming region known as NGC 3324 and will allow the study of gases and dust that form stars.
Stephan’s Quintet is a group of five galaxies. Four of the galaxies, 290 million light-years from Earth, are about to merge and infrared vision shows heated dust that confirms that two galaxies are tearing stars from each other.
NASA said the telescope image of star cluster SMACS 0723 is the sharpest, deepest infrared image in the universe. It shows thousands of galaxies up to 4.6 billion light-years from Earth that appear as small dots on the image. NASA added that the image represents the beginning of the study of galaxies dating back to the beginning of cosmic time.