Now that we have a powerful lens aimed at the deepest regions of the universe, our definition of “surprise” has changed quite a bit when it comes to astronomy images.
It really comes as no surprise that NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has revealed yet another fascinating and fascinating piece of the universe. At this point, we know we expect nothing less than.
Instead, whenever the telescope sends out a stunning space image, it now evokes the more “JWST strikes again” feeling. However, our jaws legitimately fall out every time.
This kind of dissonant version of “surprise” happened again – to a very severe degree. Last week, scientists provided JWST’s bright view of a galactic crowd merging around a supermassive black hole that houses a rare quasar — also known as an inexplicably bright light spit emanating from the chaotic center of the void.
There is a lot going on here, I know. But the team behind the discovery thinks it could escalate further.
“We think something exciting is about to happen in these systems,” said Andre Weiner, an astronomer at Johns Hopkins University and co-author of a study on the landscape soon to be published in Astrophysical Journal Letters. For now, you can see a detailed outline of the discovery in a paper posted on arXiv.
Particularly interesting in this image is that the quasar at hand is considered a “very red” quasar, which means that it is very far from us, and therefore is actually rooted in a primitive region of space located near the beginning of time.
In essence, it takes time For light to travel through space, every stream of cosmic light that reaches our eyes and machines is seen as it was long ago. Even moonlight takes about 1.3 seconds to reach Earth, so when we look at the moon, we see it past 1.3 seconds.
More specifically with this quasar, scientists believe that it took about 11.5 billion years for the body’s light to reach Earth, which means we see it as it was 11.5 billion years ago. This also makes it, according to the team, one of the most powerful devices of its kind to be observed from such a huge distance (i.e. 11.5 billion light-years away).
“A galaxy at this perfect moment in its life, is about to transform and look completely different in a few billion years,” Weiner said of the world where the quasar is anchored.
Galactic Rarity Analysis
In the color image provided by Weiner and his fellow researchers, we’re looking at several things.
On the left is the Hubble Space Telescope for the area the team studied, and in the middle is an explosive version of the spot the JWST focused on. Take a quick look at the far right of this image, where four individually color-coded boxes appear and you’ll be analyzing different aspects of the JWST data broken down by velocity.
Red things are moving away from us and blue towards us, for example.
This classification shows us how each of the galaxies involved in the amazing merger behaves — including the one that holds the extreme black hole and the accompanying red quasar, in fact the only billion-dollar discovery the team expected from NASA. a tool.
“What you see here is only a small subset of what is in the data set,” Nadia Zakamska, an astrophysicist at Johns Hopkins University and co-author of the study, said in a statement. “There’s a lot going on here, so first we’ve highlighted the really biggest surprise. Every point here is a small galaxy merging into this parent galaxy and colors at different speeds and everything is moving in a very complex way.”
Now, says Zakamska, the team will begin to decipher the movements and enhance our view to a greater extent. However, we’re already looking at much more incredible information than the team initially expected. Hubble and the Gemini-North telescope have previously shown the possibility of a galaxy transmission but certainly haven’t hinted at the swarm we can see using JWST’s brilliant infrared equipment.
“In the previous images, we thought we’d seen hints that the galaxy might be interacting with other galaxies on the merging path because their shapes deform in the process,” Zakamska said. “But after we got the web data, I was like, ‘I have no idea what we’re even looking at here, what are all these things!’ “We spent several weeks just staring and staring at these pictures.”
Soon, it became clear that JWST was showing us at least three separate galaxies moving at dizzying speed, the team said. They even think this could represent one of the densest galactic-forming regions in the early universe.
Everything about this complex image is enchanting. We have the black hole, which Zakamska calls a “monster,” an extremely rare stream of light being spit out from that black hole and a group of galaxies on a collision course – all seen as it were. Billions of years in the past.
So, dare I say it? JWST hits again, presenting us with a very precious cosmic vignette. Cue, jaw dropping.
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