James Webb just sent in a record-breaking photo! Shows interstellar gas in the best detail yet – teach me about science

James Webb It’s now fully compatible with all four of its science instruments, to prove it I recently posted sharp pictures. Webb’s team has now decided to take a closer look at the same goal and thrive. We have an image that shows the chemistry of interstellar gas in unprecedented detail!

This last picture is a performance demo From the coolest Webb tool, which is better known as the mid-infrared tool, or Mary. The picture shows part of Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way. Next, we’ll see a close-up of the MIRI image compared to the previous image of the same target taken with the IR array camera. Spitzer Space Telescope from NASA.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech (left), NASA/ESA/CSA/STScI (right).

The Spitzer Telescope, now retired, was one of NASA’s great observatories and the first to provide high-resolution images of the universe in the near and mid-infrared. Webb’s larger primary mirror and improved detectors will allow us to see the infrared sky more clearly, enabling further discoveries.

During a press conference Today (May 9), NASA officials explained that the new MIRI image showed the chemistry of interstellar gas in the best detail yet, including the emission of carbon and hydrogen molecules called “polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons,” which are some of the building blocks of life. This imaging ability is essential to help Webb understand how stars and protoplanetary systems form.

“The MIRI web image shows interstellar gas in unprecedented detail. Here you can see the emission of “polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons,” or carbon and hydrogen molecules that play an important role in the thermal balance and chemistry of the interstellar gas.” NASA said in a statement.

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At the end of last month, Webb confirmed that the alignment went perfectly fine, snapping sharp, well-focused photos. With each of his four powerful science instruments on board.

The fact that the new telescope is “perfectly aligned” means that Webb’s mirrors now direct fully focused light collected from space toward each instrument. It has shown, that every machine successfully takes pictures with the light that reaches it. In the mosaic below, each image is a view of one of Webb’s instruments perfectly aligned with the telescope and in focus.

Web image with all of his machines. (Credit: NASA/STScI).

Yes, this means that the most advanced space telescope in history has already completed optical alignment. Now it is in its final stage Which includes activities for commissioning: Dive into the details of scientific instruments, Webb’s Heart. This phase will take approximately two months, allowing observations to begin within the planned time, in the middle of the year.

During this final telescope setup, you’ll look at a variety of objects in space, including seemingly fast-moving ones like the planets, satellites, asteroids, and comets in our solar system. We say “apparent” fast motion because in fact all objects move at great speeds, only the enormous distances make them appear almost immobile.

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