How did the James Webb telescope see thousands of distant objects?

Posted by Heba El-Sayed

Tuesday, February 21, 2023 09:00 AM

Modern space telescopes are extremely powerful tools, capable of looking into the depths of space Without being constrained by the hazy effects of Earth’s atmosphere, but even that is not enough to allow them to see the more distant galaxies, which are very far away.

For further research, astronomers are taking advantage of a phenomenon called gravitational lensing. This occurs when an object such as a galaxy or galaxy cluster has such a large mass that it bends space-time, acting like a magnifying glass and illuminating extremely distant objects behind it.

This is how he managed James Webb Space Telescope Recently, thousands of extremely distant objects have been seen by looking at a region of space called Pandora’s Cluster, or Abell 2744.

Three groups of galaxies in the center of the image form a supercluster, which has a large mass that allows astronomers to see areas of space not previously observed.

“When the images of the Pandora Cluster first emerged from Webb, there was a lot of detail in the foreground cluster and many distant lensing galaxies,” said one of the researchers, Rachel Besanson, in a statement.

And she added, “If you look closely at the image, you will see that many galaxies appear stretched or stretched, this is due to the effect of the lens, as the gravity of the giant cluster distorts the light coming from it, but even with this distortion, astronomers can learn a lot about these galaxies from images.” like this”.

Data for this image was collected using Webb’s NIRCam instrument and aggregates about 30 hours of observation time. Next, researchers will select specific galaxies of interest and observe them in more detail using Webb’s NIRSpec instrument to see their compositions, adding more information to this texture.

Another researcher, Ivo Lab, said, “Pandora’s Cluster, as depicted by Webb, shows us a lens that is stronger, wider, deeper, and better than we’ve seen before.” “My first reaction to the image was that it was so beautiful, it looked like a simulation of galaxy formation.

“We had to remind ourselves that this was real data, and we are operating in a new age of astronomy,” he added.

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