The Pillars of Creation Revealed by JWST. It looks like Big Rip isn’t happening after all. Black holes transforming spacetime into nodes. Jets that seem to go faster than the speed of light.
If you’d rather sit back, relax, and get all the hottest space news of the week, we’ve got you covered! Stunning new images, new discoveries in astronomy, determining the future of the Universe and more in the latest episode of Space Bites.
Pillars of Creation by Webb
It’s time to update your computer wallpaper. Finally we have Webb’s version of the Pillars of Creation, made famous by the Hubble Space Telescope, which released images in 1995. Because JWST is an infrared telescope, it can see through gas and dust, obscuring all light. newly formed stars. The intense radiation from all the new stars explodes on the pillars, wearing them down and revealing the young stars. It is a beautiful image and scientifically fascinating.
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Learn more about JWST’s best picture so far.
The Great Tear Averted
Astronomers use type 1a supernovae to measure distances in the Universe. They always explode with the same amount of energy, so it is possible to calculate how far away they are. A new catalog of type 1a supernovae has been completed called Pantheon+, which contains over 1,500 type 1a supernovae. From there, astronomers were able to accurately measure the ratios of dark matter and dark energy at different periods of the Universe.
Learn about dark energy and the death of the Universe.
Black holes Space-time nodes
In 2020, astronomers detected gravitational waves from the collision between two black holes. One had more than 40 times the mass of the Sun and rotated as fast as the laws of physics would allow. As the two black holes were about to collide, they tangled spacetime in the region. Astronomers could measure this in the form of the gravitational wave signal detected by LIGO. This confirmed one of Einstein’s predictions about relativity in one of the most extreme environments in the Universe.
Learn more about merging black holes.
The most powerful burst of gamma rays ever recorded
Gamma-ray bursts are the most powerful explosions in the universe, briefly shining with more radiation than the rest of their galaxy. They are thought to be caused by the collapse of the most massive stars in the Universe. On October 12, astronomers detected a GRB that defied comprehension, the most powerful ever seen. Even though the explosion occurred 2.4 billion light-years away, spacecraft sensors were overwhelmed and the radiation ionized Earth’s atmosphere, disrupting long-range communications.
Learn more about the record-breaking gamma-ray burst.
Consequences of Kilonova 2017
One of the most important astronomical discoveries of the past decade was the detection of a kilonova, the collision of two neutron stars. It was special because the astronomers detected both the gravitational waves from the impact and the bright flash of radiation. Years after the kilonova was discovered, astronomers used the Hubble Space Telescope to study the wreckage. A fascinating discovery is that the area has developed giant jets shooting radiation into space that appear to be traveling faster than the speed of light (but that’s just an illusion).
Learn more about “faster than light” jets.
A warning sign for supernovae
It is believed that red supergiant stars will fade before exploding as supernovae. This is because they lost material in the last years of their life, which obscures our vision, making them appear to be darkening. That’s why astronomers were so excited when Betelgeuse went dark a few years ago. It looks like Betelgeuse didn’t fade fast enough. A new theory suggests that red supergiants will lose 10% of their mass in the last year of their life, shrinking by a factor of 100. When Betelgeuse disappears from the night sky, it could mean that it is about to explode.
Learn more about predicting star explosions.
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