Unleashing Curiosity, Igniting Discovery - The Science Fusion

Lots of the circled objects signify beforehand unknown supernovae

NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, JADES Collaboration

Astronomers utilizing the James Webb Area Telescope (JWST) have discovered an astonishing variety of supernovae within the distant universe, together with the farthest ever confirmed. Their discoveries have elevated the quantity of recognized supernovae within the early universe by an element of 10.

The researchers discovered 79 new supernovae by taking two photographs of the identical tiny patch of the sky, one in 2022 and one in 2023. “It’s really so small that in the event you took a grain of rice and held it at arm’s size that may be the dimensions of the patch,” mentioned Christa DeCoursey on the College of Arizona whereas presenting this work at a gathering of the American Astronomical Society in Wisconsin on 10 June. “We spent over 100 hours of JWST [observing] time on every picture, so these are very, very deep photographs.”

The astronomers then in contrast the 2 photographs with each other and with footage of the identical space taken beforehand by the Hubble Area Telescope, in search of brilliant spots that have been current in a single picture however not the others.

These spots are stars that had been shining comparatively dimly earlier than exploding in brilliant supernovae and fading out. A number of of them are candidates for essentially the most distant supernova ever discovered, though their distances haven’t but been confirmed. And one is unquestionably essentially the most distant ever confirmed – it blew up when the universe was solely about 1.8 billion years previous.

Supernovae like these in all probability created the heavy parts that at the moment are unfold all through the universe, in order that they comprise fewer of those parts than trendy supernovae do. “The universe was essentially completely different at this early part than the occasions that Hubble, and notably ground-based surveys, have been probing prior to now,” mentioned Justin Pierel on the Area Telescope Science Institute in Maryland through the presentation. “That is actually a brand new regime that JWST has opened.” Observations in that regime may assist reveal what the primary stars have been like.

Matters:

  • stars/
  • James Webb area telescope
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