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James Webb Telescope: A ringed galaxy of stars and hot dust


The James Webb Telescope transmits spectacular images of the "Wagonwheel" galaxy, 500 million light-years away from us. Another picture is exposed as a fake: it doesn't show a galaxy, but a slice of chorizo ​​sausage.

Enlarge image

A large pink-blue speckled galaxy resembling a wheel with a small inner oval

Photo: Uncredited / dpa

For the past three weeks, the James Webb telescope has been sending spectacular images back to earth.

Now it has focused on the so-called Cartwheel Galaxy, which is about 500 million light-years from Earth, the US space agency said.

The infrared camera image not only shows a formation of two smaller galaxies and one larger one, but also tells the story of how the cartwheel evolved over billions of years.

The ringed galaxy is the result of a collision between a spiral galaxy and a smaller one not visible in the image.

The collision created the particular shape and structure in the present image: two rings moving outward like ripples in a pond after a stone is thrown into it.

The brighter inner ring is made up of masses of hot dust and huge clusters of young stars.

The outer ring, which has been expanding for about 440 million years, is dominated by supernovas and star births.

As the ring expands, it encounters surrounding gas, triggering the formation of new stars.

The image shows that the galaxy is in a "very volatile" state and will likely continue to change, NASA said.

Death breath, galaxy crash, water vapor

The telescope's first images, which were presented to the public three weeks ago, were already exciting: the brightly colored breath of death of a dying star, the dance of five galaxies shortly before the crash, traces of water vapor on a distant gas planet.

According to his own statements, NASA chief of science Thomas Zurbuchen had tears in his eyes when he looked into the depths of the universe, he told the SPIEGEL interview.

A German astronomer wants to use the images from the James Webb telescope to unravel the birth of the sun.

"James Webb" was built jointly by the space agencies in Europe (ESA), the USA (Nasa) and Canada (CSA) and was launched on December 25th on board an Ariane launch vehicle from the European spaceport in Kourou in French Guiana.

Previously there had been cost explosions and new shifts.

The telescope is named after a former NASA boss who led the agency in the 1960s, which was important for space travel.

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) took around 30 years to develop and cost around 10 billion dollars.

Be careful, difference: a chorizo ​​sausage is not a galaxy

A red fireball with glowing spots against a jet-black background - a supposed image of the James Webb Space Telescope has turned out to be a slice of chorizo ​​sausage.

The author of the allegedly spectacular recording, the French physicist and philosopher of science Etienne Klein, explained that he was joking.

The 64-year-old research director at the energy research institute CEA and producer of a French science program tweeted the image on Sunday, claiming it was from the closest star to the sun, Proxima Centauri.

While other Twitter users were still admiring the details in the picture, the Huffington Post revealed that it was actually a slice of the spicy Spanish sausage.

With his post, he wanted to encourage caution against images that “appear meaningful on their own,” Klein explained on Twitter and apologized to anyone who might have been offended by a scientist’s “unoriginal” joke.


Source: spiegel

All tech articles on 2022-08-04

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