The James Webb telescope image isn't just famous. It shows the curved space.

Space is very mystical.

There are massive objects in the universe – mostly galaxies – that distort space like a bowling ball sitting on a mattress. This creates a curved cosmic lens. „Light follows that curve instead of traveling in a straight line, distorting and brightening what's behind the object.” NASA explains.

A new image taken by the James Webb Space Telescope, a powerful observatory orbiting 1 million miles from Earth, shows a galaxy distorted by this effect — technically known as „gravitational lensing” and predicted long ago by Albert Einstein.

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The web image below shows a sea of ​​galaxies, some rotating like our own Milky Way. Located 10 billion light-years away near center-right, the galaxy MRG-M0138 is curved and elongated. It's an exceptionally old, distant galaxy, but the natural cosmic lens has magnified the light so clearly that it appears.

The curved light from the galaxy MRG-M0138 near center-right in this image is extended.
Credit: NASA / ESA / CSA / STScI / Justin Pearl (STScI) / Andrew Newman (Carnegie Institution for Science)

In this magnified light, there is a surprise.

A close-up view of an elongated galaxy reveals bright light from an exploding star, a violent event Supernova. Researchers call it a „Supernova Encore,” and the giant gravitational lens appears several times in this image, as you can see designated by the circles below.

This image of the twisted galaxy MRG-M0138 shows the same supernova multiple times.

This image of the twisted galaxy MRG-M0138 shows the same supernova multiple times.
Credit: NASA / ESA / CSA / STScI / Justin Pearl (STScI) / Andrew Newman (Carnegie Institution for Science)

What's more, astronomers expect the lens to reveal Yet another A copy of the same supernova in the 2030s. This will allow astronomers a rare, invaluable opportunity to measure how fast the universe is expanding.

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„When a supernova explodes behind a gravitational lens, its light takes different paths to reach Earth. These paths can be compared to multiple trains leaving a station at the same time, all traveling at the same speed and heading to the same destination. Each train follows a different path, varying in length and terrain. Because of the differences, the trains don't reach their destination at the same time,” explained Andrew Newman, a NASA Einstein Fellow at the Space Telescope Science Institute and astronomer Justin Pear in the laboratories of the Carnegie Institution for Science. NASA report.

Mashable Speed ​​of Light

„By measuring the differences in the times at which supernova images appear, we can measure the history of the universe's expansion rate. Hubble's constantThis is a major challenge in cosmology today,” the researchers added.

Powerful capabilities of Web Telescope

Engineers working on the giant, gold-plated mirror of the James Webb Space Telescope.

Engineers working on the giant, gold-plated mirror of the James Webb Space Telescope.
Credit: NASA / Desiree Stover

The Webb Telescope – a scientific collaboration between NASA, ESA and the Canadian Space Agency – is designed to peer deep into space and reveal new insights into the early universe. But it also takes a peek at the enigmatic planets in our own galaxy, along with the planets and moons in our solar system.

Here's how the web achieved unparalleled feats, and will continue to do so for decades:

– Giant Mirror: The light-catching web mirror is over 21 feet. It is two and a half times larger than the mirror of the Hubble Space Telescope. Capturing more light allows the web to see more distant, primitive objects. As described above, the telescope looks at stars and galaxies that formed 13 billion years ago, a few hundred million years after the Big Bang.

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„We're going to see the first stars and galaxies that ever formed,” Jean Creighton, an astronomer and director of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's Manfred Olsen Planetarium, told Mashable in 2021.

– Infrared vision: Unlike Hubble, which looks mostly at visible light, Webb is primarily an infrared telescope, which looks at light in the infrared spectrum. It allows us to see more of the universe. Infrared is longer wavelengths So light waves slip more efficiently through cosmic clouds than visible light; Light rarely collides with and scatters through these dense particles. Eventually, Webb's infrared vision will penetrate places Hubble can't.

„It lifts the veil,” Creighton said.

– Observing distant exoplanets: Web Telescope It carries special equipment called spectrographs This will revolutionize our understanding of these distant worlds. These instruments can understand what molecules (such as water, carbon dioxide and methane) exist in the atmospheres of distant exoplanets – whether they are gas giants or small rocky worlds. Webb will look at exoplanets in the Milky Way galaxy. Who knows what we'll find?

„We can learn things we never thought possible,” says exoplanet researcher and astrophysicist Mercedes Lopez-Morales. Center for Astrophysics-Harvard & SmithsonianSaid in 2021 on Mashable.

Already, astronomers have successfully detected intriguing chemical reactions on a planet 700 light-years away, and as described above, the observatory began looking at one of the most anticipated places in space: the TRAPPIST sun's rocky, Earth-sized planets. system.

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