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The James Webb Space Telescope captured a unique view of the universe, including never-before-seen galaxies that shine like diamonds in the universe.
The new image, published Wednesday in Astronomical Studies, was captured as part of the First Extragalactic Areas of Reionization and Lentising Science Observing Program, named MARGARITA.
It is one of the first images of medium deep-field objects, with “medium-depth” meaning the thinnest objects visible, and “wide-field” the region of the world that was captured in the image.
“Webb’s stunning image quality is truly out of this world,” said study coauthor Anton Koekemoer, a research astronomer at the Baltimore Science Institute’s Space Telescope, who assembled the pearl images in the mosaic, in a statement. “To see a very rare galaxy during the cosmic dawn, the high imaging over a wide area that this field of pearls provides.”
The Webb Telescope, in a part of the sky called the North Ecliptic Pole, was able to use eight different colors of nearby light to identify celestial objects that are 1 billion times fainter than what can be seen with the naked eye.
Thousands of galaxies shine from far away, and a certain image of light has reached us in about 13.5 billion years.
“I was blown away by the first images,” said study coauthor Rolf Jansen, a research scientist at Arizona State University and a PEARLS co-investigator, in a statement.
“Little did I know, when I chose this field at the north pole of the Ecliptic, that such a treasure would come from the distant galaxies, and we want to have the right meanings about the processes through which galaxies meet and grow,” he said. “I see rivers, tails, shells and crowns of stars on the far side, the remains of building blocks.”
The researchers combined Webb’s data with three colors of ultraviolet and visible light captured by the Hubble Space Telescope to create the image. Together, the wavelengths of light from both telescopes reveal the unprecedented depth and unique richness of galaxies in the universe. Many of these distant galaxies have always eluded Hubble, as have ground-based telescopes.
The image represents only a portion of the field full of pearls, which will be about four times larger. The mosaic is even better than scientists expected after running simulations in the months before Webb began making scientific observations in July.
“There are many objects that I never thought we could actually see, including individual globular clusters around distant elliptical galaxies, knots of star formation within spiral galaxies, and thousands of faint galaxies in the background,” said study coauthor Jake Summers, a research assistant at Arizona State University. in the announcement.
The other pinnacles of light in the image represent a variety of stars in our Milky Way Galaxy.
Measuring the diffuse light in front of and behind stars and galaxies in an image is like “describing the history of the universe” because it tells the story of cosmic evolution, according to study co-author Rosalia O’Brien, a graduate research assistant at Arizona State. University, publication.
Margarita’s team hopes to see more objects in this region in the future, such as distant stars or flares of light around black holes, as they vary in brightness.
“This unique field was designed to be observable with Webb 365 days a year, so the legacy of its time, area covered, and depth can only be improved over time,” lead author Rogier Windhorst, a professor of astronomy at Arizona State University. and pearls, principal investigator, in constitution.
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