Five tantalising images from the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) released on July 12 are a portent of the astronomy that is to come out of the world's most powerful telescope. The data collected during its projected lifetime of 10 years, astronomers hope, will clarify how the sparse dispersed gas clouds give birth to stars and planets and how the first galaxies and first generation stars evolved. The telescope will also answer if there is life elsewhere in the universe. It will look for biosignatures in the atmosphere of exoplanets (planets orbiting other planets).
Peering deep into the cosmos
The above image depicts a galactic cluster SMACS 0723 and the stellar objects in the foreground and background. This galactic cluster is 5.12 billion light-years away. Considering the universe's expansion, this means this is the region's image as it was 4.6 billion years ago, when the Earth, the Sun and the solar system were born.
You have to be a Premium Subscriber
Start your subscription with a free trial
thefederal.com and many more features.
plans start from Rs. 149