Jump to content

Webb reaches alignment milestone


Recommended Posts

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Similar Topics

    • By NASA
      6 Min Read NASA’s Webb Opens New Window on Supernova Science
      The JADES Deep Field uses observations taken by NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) as part of the JADES (JWST Advanced Deep Extragalactic Survey) program. A team of astronomers studying JADES data identified about 80 objects that changed in brightness over time. Most of these objects, known as transients, are the result of exploding stars or supernovae. See annotated image below. Peering deeply into the cosmos, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope is giving scientists their first detailed glimpse of supernovae from a time when our universe was just a small fraction of its current age. A team using Webb data has identified 10 times more supernovae in the early universe than were previously known. A few of the newfound exploding stars are the most distant examples of their type, including those used to measure the universe’s expansion rate.
      “Webb is a supernova discovery machine,” said Christa DeCoursey, a third-year graduate student at the Steward Observatory and the University of Arizona in Tucson. “The sheer number of detections plus the great distances to these supernovae are the two most exciting outcomes from our survey.”
      DeCoursey presented these findings in a press conference at the 244th meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Madison, Wisconsin.
      Image A: Jades Deep Field Annotated
      The JADES Deep Field uses observations taken by NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) as part of the JADES (JWST Advanced Deep Extragalactic Survey) program. A team of astronomers studying JADES data identified about 80 objects (circled in green) that changed in brightness over time. Most of these objects, known as transients, are the result of exploding stars or supernovae. Prior to this survey, only a handful of supernovae had been found above a redshift of 2, which corresponds to when the universe was only 3.3 billion years old — just 25% of its current age. The JADES sample contains many supernovae that exploded even further in the past, when the universe was less than 2 billion years old. It includes the farthest one ever spectroscopically confirmed, at a redshift of 3.6. Its progenitor star exploded when the universe was only 1.8 billion years old.
      ‘A Supernova Discovery Machine’
      To make these discoveries, the team analyzed imaging data obtained as part of the JWST Advanced Deep Extragalactic Survey (JADES) program. Webb is ideal for finding extremely distant supernovae because their light is stretched into longer wavelengths — a phenomenon known as cosmological redshift.
      Prior to Webb’s launch, only a handful of supernovae had been found above a redshift of 2, which corresponds to when the universe was only 3.3 billion years old — just 25% of its current age. The JADES sample contains many supernovae that exploded even further in the past, when the universe was less than 2 billion years old.
      Previously, researchers used NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope to view supernovae from when the universe was in the “young adult” stage. With JADES, scientists are seeing supernovae when the universe was in its “teens” or “pre-teens.” In the future, they hope to look back to the “toddler” or “infant” phase of the universe.
      To discover the supernovae, the team compared multiple images taken up to one year apart and looked for sources that disappeared or appeared in those images. These objects that vary in observed brightness over time are called transients, and supernovae are a type of transient. In all, the JADES Transient Survey Sample team uncovered about 80 supernovae in a patch of sky only about the thickness of a grain of rice held at arm’s length.
      “This is really our first sample of what the high-redshift universe looks like for transient science,” said teammate Justin Pierel, a NASA Einstein Fellow at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Maryland. “We are trying to identify whether distant supernovae are fundamentally different from or very much like what we see in the nearby universe.”
      Pierel and other STScI researchers provided expert analysis to determine which transients were actually supernovae and which were not, because often they looked very similar.
      The team identified a number of high-redshift supernovae, including the farthest one ever spectroscopically confirmed, at a redshift of 3.6. Its progenitor star exploded when the universe was only 1.8 billion years old. It is a so-called core-collapse supernova, an explosion of a massive star. 
      Image B: Jades Deep Field Transients (NIRCam)
      This mosaic displays three of about 80 transients, or objects of changing brightness, identified in data from the JADES (JWST Advanced Deep Extragalactic Survey) program. Most of the transients are the result of exploding stars or supernovae. By comparing images taken in 2022 and 2023, astronomers could locate supernovae that recently exploded (like the examples shown in the first two columns), or supernovae that had already exploded and whose light was fading away (third column). The age of each supernova can be determined from its redshift (designated by ‘z’). The light of the most distant supernova, at a redshift of 3.8, originated when the universe was only 1.7 billion years old. A redshift of 2.845 corresponds to a time 2.3 billion years after the big bang. The closest example, at a redshift of 0.655, shows light that left its galaxy about 6 billion years ago, when the universe was just over half its current age.
      Uncovering Distant Type Ia Supernovae
      Of particular interest to astrophysicists are Type Ia supernovae. These exploding stars are so predictably bright that they are used to measure far-off cosmic distances and help scientists to calculate the universe’s expansion rate. The team identified at least one Type Ia supernova at a redshift of 2.9. The light from this explosion began traveling to us 11.5 billion years ago when the universe was just 2.3 billion years old. The previous distance record for a spectroscopically confirmed Type Ia supernova was a redshift of 1.95, when the universe was 3.4 billion years old.
      Scientists are eager to analyze Type Ia supernovae at high redshifts to see if they all have the same intrinsic brightness, regardless of distance. This is critically important, because if their brightness varies with redshift, they would not be reliable markers for measuring the expansion rate of the universe.
      Pierel analyzed this Type Ia supernova found at redshift 2.9 to determine if its intrinsic brightness was different than expected. While this is just the first such object, the results indicate no evidence that Type Ia brightness changes with redshift. More data is needed, but for now, Type Ia supernova-based theories about the universe’s expansion rate and its ultimate fate remain intact. Pierel also presented his findings at the 244th meeting of the American Astronomical Society.
      Looking Toward the Future
      The early universe was a very different place with extreme environments. Scientists expect to see ancient supernovae that come from stars that contain far fewer heavy chemical elements than stars like our Sun. Comparing these supernovae with those in the local universe will help astrophysicists understand star formation and supernova explosion mechanisms at these early times.
      “We’re essentially opening a new window on the transient universe,” said STScI Fellow Matthew Siebert, who is leading the spectroscopic analysis of the JADES supernovae. “Historically, whenever we’ve done that, we’ve found extremely exciting things — things that we didn’t expect.”
      “Because Webb is so sensitive, it’s finding supernovae and other transients almost everywhere it’s pointed,” said JADES team member Eiichi Egami, a research professor at the University of Arizona in Tucson. “This is the first significant step toward more extensive surveys of supernovae with Webb.”
      The James Webb Space Telescope is the world’s premier space science observatory. Webb is solving mysteries in our solar system, looking beyond to distant worlds around other stars, and probing the mysterious structures and origins of our universe and our place in it. Webb is an international program led by NASA with its partners, ESA (European Space Agency) and CSA (Canadian Space Agency). 
      Downloads
      Right click any image to save it or open a larger version in a new tab/window via the browser’s popup menu.
      View/Download all image products at all resolutions for this article from the Space Telescope Science Institute.
      Media Contacts
      Laura Betz – laura.e.betz@nasa.gov, Rob Gutro – rob.gutro@nasa.gov
      NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
      Ann Jenkins – jenkins@stsci.edu / Christine Pulliam – cpulliam@stsci.edu
      Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Md.
      Related Information
      Animation: Type 1a Supernovae Animations
      Infographic: Massive Stars: Engines of Creation
      Articles: Explore Other Supernova Articles
      More Webb News
      More Webb Images
      Webb Mission Page
      Related For Kids
      What is a supernova?
      What is the Webb Telescope?
      SpacePlace for Kids
      En Español
      Qué es una  supernova?
      Ciencia de la NASA
      NASA en español 
      Space Place para niños
      Keep Exploring Related Topics
      James Webb Space Telescope


      Webb is the premier observatory of the next decade, serving thousands of astronomers worldwide. It studies every phase in the…


      Galaxies



      Stars



      Universe


      Share








      Details
      Last Updated Jun 10, 2024 Editor Stephen Sabia Contact Laura Betz laura.e.betz@nasa.gov Related Terms
      Astrophysics Galaxies Galaxies, Stars, & Black Holes James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) Missions Origin & Evolution of the Universe Science & Research The Universe View the full article
    • By European Space Agency
      Destination Earth is now live! Launched today during a ceremony at the EuroHPC LUMI Supercomputer Centre in Kajaani, Finland, Destination Earth provides unprecedented insights into the complexity of our planet to advance climate change adaption and environmental resilience modelling.
      View the full article
    • By NASA
      5 Min Read Webb Finds Plethora of Carbon Molecules Around Young Star
      This is an artist’s impression of a young star surrounded by a disk of gas and dust. An international team of astronomers has used NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope to study the disk of gas and dust around a young, very low-mass star. The results reveal the largest number of carbon-containing molecules seen to date in such a disk. These findings have implications for the potential composition of any planets that might form around this star.
      Rocky planets are more likely than gas giants to form around low-mass stars, making them the most common planets around the most common stars in our galaxy. Little is known about the chemistry of such worlds, which may be similar to or very different from Earth. By studying the disks from which such planets form, astronomers hope to better understand the planet formation process and the compositions of the resulting planets.
      Planet-forming disks around very low-mass stars are difficult to study because they are smaller and fainter than disks around high-mass stars. A program called the MIRI (Mid-Infrared Instrument) Mid-INfrared Disk Survey (MINDS) aims to use Webb’s unique capabilities to build a bridge between the chemical inventory of disks and the properties of exoplanets.
      Image A: Artist’s Concept of Protoplanetary Disk
      This is an artist’s impression of a young star surrounded by a disk of gas and dust. An international team of astronomers has used NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope to study the disk around a young and very low-mass star known as ISO-ChaI 147. The results reveal the richest hydrocarbon chemistry seen to date in a protoplanetary disk. “Webb has better sensitivity and spectral resolution than previous infrared space telescopes,” explained lead author Aditya Arabhavi of the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. “These observations are not possible from Earth, because the emissions from the disk are blocked by our atmosphere.”
      In a new study, this team explored the region around a very low-mass star known as ISO-ChaI 147, a 1 to 2 million-year-old star that weighs just 0.11 times as much as the Sun. The spectrum revealed by Webb’s MIRI shows the richest hydrocarbon chemistry seen to date in a protoplanetary disk – a total of 13 different carbon-bearing molecules. The team’s findings include the first detection of ethane (C2H6) outside of our solar system, as well as ethylene (C2H4), propyne (C3H4), and the methyl radical CH3.
      “These molecules have already been detected in our solar system, like in comets such as 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko and C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy),” added Arabhavi. “Webb allowed us to understand that these hydrocarbon molecules are not just diverse but also abundant. It is amazing that we can now see the dance of these molecules in the planetary cradles. It is a very different planet-forming environment than we usually think of.”
      Image B: Protoplanetary disk of ISO-ChaI 147 (MIRI emission spectrum)
      The team indicates that these results have large implications for the chemistry of the inner disk and the planets that might form there. Since Webb revealed the gas in the disk is so rich in carbon, there is likely little carbon left in the solid materials that planets would form from. As a result, the planets that might form there may ultimately be carbon-poor. (Earth itself is considered carbon-poor.)
      “This is profoundly different from the composition we see in disks around solar-type stars, where oxygen bearing molecules like water and carbon dioxide dominate,” added team member Inga Kamp, also of the University of Groningen. “This object establishes that these are a unique class of objects.”
      “It’s incredible that we can detect and quantify the amount of molecules that we know well on Earth, such as benzene, in an object that is more than 600 light-years away,” added team member Agnés Perrin of Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in France.
      Next, the science team intends to expand their study to a larger sample of such disks around very low-mass stars to develop their understanding of how common or exotic such carbon-rich terrestrial planet-forming regions are. “The expansion of our study will also allow us to better understand how these molecules can form,” explained team member and principal investigator of the MINDS program, Thomas Henning, of the Max-Planck-Institute for Astronomy in Germany. “Several features in the Webb data are also still unidentified, so more spectroscopy is required to fully interpret our observations.”
      This work also highlights the crucial need for scientists to collaborate across disciplines. The team notes that these results and the accompanying data can contribute towards other fields including theoretical physics, chemistry, and astrochemistry, to interpret the spectra and to investigate new features in this wavelength range.
      The James Webb Space Telescope is the world’s premier space science observatory. Webb is solving mysteries in our solar system, looking beyond to distant worlds around other stars, and probing the mysterious structures and origins of our universe and our place in it. Webb is an international program led by NASA with its partners, ESA (European Space Agency) and CSA (Canadian Space Agency).
      Downloads
      Right click any image to save it or open a larger version in a new tab/window via the browser’s popup menu.
      View/Download full resolution images for this article from the Space Telescope Science Institute.
      Media Contacts
      Laura Betz – laura.e.betz@nasa.gov, Rob Gutro – rob.gutro@nasa.gov
      NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
      Christine Pulliam – cpulliam@stsci.edu
      Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Md.
      Related Information
      Infographic: Destiny of Dust
      Infographic: Recipe for Planet Formation
      Animation: Exploring Star and Planet Formation
      Video: Scientists’ Perspective: Science Snippets
      More Webb News – https://science.nasa.gov/mission/webb/latestnews/
      More Webb Images – https://science.nasa.gov/mission/webb/multimedia/images/
      Webb Mission Page – https://science.nasa.gov/mission/webb/
      Related For Kids
      What is the Webb Telescope?
      SpacePlace for Kids
      En Español
      Ciencia de la NASA
      NASA en español 
      Space Place para niños
      Keep Exploring Related Topics
      James Webb Space Telescope


      Webb is the premier observatory of the next decade, serving thousands of astronomers worldwide. It studies every phase in the…


      Exoplanets



      Stars



      Universe


      Share








      Details
      Last Updated Jun 06, 2024 Editor Stephen Sabia Contact Laura Betz laura.e.betz@nasa.gov Related Terms
      Astrophysics Exoplanet Science Exoplanets James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) Missions Planetary Nebulae Planetary Science Planets Science & Research Studying Exoplanets The Universe View the full article
    • By European Space Agency
      Lunar I-Hab, the next European habitat in lunar orbit as part of the Gateway, has recently undergone critical tests to explore and improve human living conditions inside the space module.
      View the full article
    • By NASA
      ESA/Webb, NASA & CSA, A. Adamo (Stockholm University) and the FEAST JWST team The James Webb Space Telescope observed “starburst” galaxy NGC 4449, seen in this image released on May 29, 2024. Starbursts are intense periods of star formation usually concentrated at a galaxy’s core, but NGC 4449’s activity is much more widespread — likely due to past interactions with its galactic neighbors. Astronomers can study this galaxy to look into the past: NGC 4449 is similar to early star-forming galaxies, which also grew by merging with other systems.
      See more Webb images from this year.
      Image Credit: ESA/Webb, NASA & CSA, A. Adamo (Stockholm University) and the FEAST JWST team
      View the full article
  • Check out these Videos

×
×
  • Create New...