Astronomers have unveiled the latest deep-field image from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope. It highlights the never-before-seen detail in a bright, vast region of space called Pandora’s Cluster (Abell 2744).
Webb’s view showed three clusters of galaxies coalescing into megaclusters. According to a NASA press release, the combined mass of the galaxy clusters creates a powerful gravitational lens, a natural magnifying effect of gravity, allowing much more distant galaxies to be observed in the early universe by using the cluster as a magnifying glass.
NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has previously explored Pandora’s central core in detail, but astronomers plan to achieve a balance between width and depth that will open a new frontier in the study of cosmology and galaxy evolution.
“The ancient myth of Pandora is about human curiosity and discoveries that delineate the past from the future, which I think is a fitting connection to the new realms of the universe that Webb opens up, including this deep-field view of Pandora’s Cluster, Rachel Bezanson, an astronomer from the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, said in a statement.
Ms Bezanson added: “When the images of Pandora’s Cluster first came in from Webb, we were honestly a little underwhelmed by the stars.” the image. Webb exceeded our expectations.”
According to NASA, the galaxy cluster’s “lens” is so massive that it distorts the fabric of space itself, enough for light from distant galaxies passing through that warped space to also take on a warped appearance.
The team used Webb’s Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam) to capture the cluster with exposures of 4-6 hours, for a total of about 30 hours of observation time.
Featured video of the day
Mumbai woman killed by live-in partner, body hidden in bed storage: Police