NASA’s Web Space Telescope’s first data has astronomers on Twitter buzzing

NASA’s Web Space Telescope’s first data has astronomers on Twitter buzzing

Although it has been more than a week since NASA unveiled its first exquisite set of James Webb space telescope images, the excitement after the July 12 broadcast has not subsided. And with the speed at which JWST has been collecting cosmic data, I would not expect it to do so in the first place.

Already, tons of astronomers have been eagerly aiming through public JWST datasets, trying their best to understand the invaluable information this $ 10 billion machine has captured while anchored in space one million miles from Earth. On Monday, for example, Gabriel Brammer, associate professor at the University of Copenhagen, posted a striking purple vortex on Twitter. It is a living abyss rooted in the JWST data Brammer downloaded online from the distant galaxy NGC 628, otherwise known as Messier 74 or “Phantom Galaxy”.

“Oh, good god,” Brammer tweeted about the 30 million light-years away, spiraling body’s hypnotic glow.

Initially, to arrive at this fascinating result, Brammer processed raw JWST data collected by the ‘scope’s Mid-Infrared Instrument, or MIRI, which was buried in a web portal called the Barbara A. Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes. Brammer then assigned different color filters to the wavelengths MIRI discovered from Messier 74 – a galaxy full of molecules called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons – to make it really strike.

“For a little bit more context,” Brammer wrote in response to curious commentators, “the purple color here is actually” real “in the sense that emissions from interstellar cigarette smoke (PAH molecules) make the filters used for blue and red channels brighter than the greens. ” In other words, the heavy amethyst colors we see are in a way aesthetically accurate.

But when it comes to randomly reading and artistically imagining JWST’s findings, Brammer is not the least bit alone. In fact, NASA astronomer Janice Lee – who Brammer said is responsible for “planning and executing” the data behind the violet majesty – also took to Twitter with a cool JWST mix.

It is a GIF of the galaxy NGC 7496 that alternates between Hubble’s visible lens and JWST’s infrared lens to illuminate “dark dust orbits, which reveal the earliest stages of star formation in detail,” Lee wrote in the tweet. Fascinatingly enough, this beautiful rendering is part of a larger project Lee is part of: A program called Phangs, or Physics at High Angular Resolution in Nearby Galaxies.

According to NASA, Phangs has a mission to simply uncover the mysteries surrounding star formation with JWST and at the same time share any discoveries with the entire astronomical community. In short, the idea is to help scientists around the world unite while watching JWST, thus speeding up the process of decoding the unfiltered universe.

OK, but wait. There’s more.

Some researchers on Twitter even announce that they have started submitting articles based on JWST peer review information. It all happens very, very fast. Mike Engesser, a staff researcher at the Space Telescope Science Institute, wrote on Twitter, for example, about the submission of a JWST-related study regarding a transient and possible supernova. According to Engesser, this potential star explosion was captured by JWST’s near-infrared camera. In particular, Brammer has also helped this team with the analysis.

At the top left, as Engesser explains, you can see the composite color image from JWST’s NIRCam data, and to the right, the Hubble Space Telescope’s optical version of the same region, taken in 2011.

But by digging even deeper, literally and metaphorically, several scientists also have zero on what may be the “oldest galaxy we’ve ever seen,” discovered by JWST NIRCam data from early release. To the untrained eye, it appears to be a red dot lurking on a black background.

Harvard University astronomer Rohan Naidu and colleagues say that this galaxy may contain the mass of a billion suns in their arXiv pre-pressure, which also touches another remarkable galactic body. But as Naidu points out, there is another layer to the puzzle of this galaxy duo as well. They have also submitted a paper for assessment to arXiv.

And these discoveries only scratch the surface of data sets that JWST already has in its pocket. In just nine days, the astronomy community has managed to squeeze out an incredible amount of information from JWST’s instruments. It seems that thanks to NASA’s amazing new lens on the universe, stargazers will witness many amazing years ahead.

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