It is the most powerful space observatory ever built. And a new video from the European Space Agency, partner of Nasa and the Canadian Space Agency, shows how he can see distant cosmic objects with unprecedented detail and clarity.
This is the Southern Ring Nebula, which is the site of a dramatic stellar death some 2,500 light-years away. A sun-sized star runs out of fuel and releases large clouds of gas into space. It’s a spectacular sight.
The European Space Agency video below travels far beyond our Milky Way galaxy to depict what the James Webb Space Telescope – with its mirror over 21 feet wide – sees in the distant universe.
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Unlike the legendary Hubble Space Telescope, which captures the light we can see (“visible light”), the Webb Telescope captures another type of light, with longer wavelengths, called infrared light. These longer wavelengths of light can glide through clouds of dust and gas, illuminating things that were previously shrouded (like the dying star excreting gas at the center of the South Ring Nebula) or cloudy.
“It lifts the veil,” said Jean Creighton, astronomer and director of the Manfred Olson Planetarium at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, told Mashable Last year.
The Webb Telescope is just getting started. It will be see some of the oldest galaxies in the universe. He will reveal what atmospheres of mysterious exoplanetsor planets beyond our solar system, are made.
For now, take a ride on this deep dive through the cosmos.