the first images opened up a new era of astronomy

To them nebulaa group of galaxiesan exoplanet, a cluster of galaxies and a deep field are the first images and spectra of the James-Webb space telescope presented and initiated scientific operations. This new era that is dawning for astronomy is unanimously embraced by the scientific community, which expects great progress in many fields.

James-Webb is the result of an international partnership between inako ‘ESA and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). ” These first images and spectra of Webb were a great celebration of the international collaboration that made this ambitious mission possible.said Josef Aschbacher, Director General of ESA. I want to thank everyone involved in commissioning this beautiful telescope and releasing these amazing first Webb images – you made this historic day a reality. In addition to the launch services, ESA contributed two of the four scientific instruments (the NIRSpec instrument and the Miri optical instrument assembly), and provided the necessary personnel for the mission operations. in the total amount of 700 million euros. In return for this investment, Europe has a guarantee of a minimum of 15% of the observation time but, for the first observation cycle, due to the quality of the observation requests from astronomers Europeans, the share spent by European scientists is almost 30%.

SMACS 0723 is a deep field at the edge of the universe

The first image to be revealed is the deep field SMACS 0723 whose careful observation tells a story ofuniverse of all ages, starting 13.8 billion years ago. This deep field uses gravitational lens of a cluster of galaxies to reveal some of the farthest galaxies ever observed. With an exposure time of just 12.5 hours, this image only digs into the surface of Webb’s abilities to study in -depth fields. Some of the objects seen in this picture are more than 13 billion years old, confirmed Pierre Ferruit, JWST program manager at ESA. They formed just a few hundred million years later big bang. A quick reading of the data in this image does not make it possible to date with certainty objects that formed only a few hundred million years ago after the Big Bang. Further image analysis is needed to have an accurate dating. Some deep fields, with longer exposure times, will be produced in the coming months, some of which are similar to those.Hubble and all suggest that James-Webb discovered galaxies only a hundred million years old.

A planetary nebula in our neighborhood

From birth to death in a planetary nebulaJames-Webb can explore the dust and gas on star aging that in the future will be a new star or planet. It should be noted that the NIRCam and Miri instruments cooperate with each other. The first will provide images with a very good level of detail and very good translation. It is suitable for observing hot objects such as galaxies. On the contrary, he could see the dust less fine, cooler. As for Miri, her main interest is that the stars in her field of vision are likely to disappear. So this instrument is very useful for observing very cold objects, including dust, and finding LIGHT galaxies that are so old that they can no longer emit visible.

A spectrum that changes during planetary spectroscopy

James-Webb noticed molecules in the water of an exoplanet that is clearly not a sign of extraterrestrial life. The interest of this spectrum is to demonstrate in large part the unique capability of the NIRISS instrument. Unique because it’s the spectrum ofinfrared on an exoplanet the most detailed collected ever, the first spectrum to include wavelengths more than 1.6 micron of one resolutions and accuracy, and the first to cover the entire wavelength range from 0.6 microns (visible red light) to 2.8 microns (near infrared) in a single shot.

James-Webb will now study hundreds of other systems to find out what others are doing. atmospheres planetary. Among the observational campaigns that have already been approved, it is necessary to mention the detailed description of the large organic molecules in orion nebula, the atmosphere of brown dwarfs and the observation of several planetary systems including that of Trappist-1b. The little Trappist star-1at 40 light years to us, it has this particularity that it has an interesting planetary system: seven earth-like planets, three of which have orbits includes among those of Venus and March.

The formation of the stars, is a strong theme of James-Webb

Stars come from and contribute a lot of gas and dust, which revolves around galaxies. The dust evaporates over time, and Webb can study up close, dynamically interacting with the galaxies to see the dust moving. Now scientists can get an amazing glimpse, in unprecedented detail, of how interacting galaxies cause star formation with each other and how the gas in these galaxies is affected. . To get an accurate idea of ​​James-Webb’s show, download the images from the European Space Agency’s JWST site by clicking HERE and wander in the image.

The complementarity of the instruments, is one of the strengths of James-Webb

By observing this region of star formation and others like it, scientists, thanks to James-Webb, can detect newly formed stars and study the gas and dust that make them up.

The lower image is rather a composite made from images obtained with near-infrared instruments (NIRCam) and mid-infrared instruments (Miri). By combining data from the two instruments, the details are revealed.

Comparing James-Webb images from Hubble is not as simple as it sounds

Comparing James-Webb images with Hubble still has limitations due to the fact that the two space observatories do not observe the same wavelength and do not use the same. colors. This explains why some objects are more present in Webb images, especially of galaxies emitting red, than in Hubble images.

You should also know that the most distant galaxies are not visible to Hubble because they are shifted in red, or are located behind clouds very dense dust. Added to this is that Webb’s sensitivity is such that in all of his images we can see galaxies in the background! So you have to be very careful in comparing them.

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