James Webb detects its first supernova 3 billion light years from Earth

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A brilliant light detected by NASA’s James Webb Telescope (JWST) three billion light-years from Earth is believed to be the first sighting of the $10 billion scope of a dying star exploding.

Formally known as a supernova, it’s the “last hurrah” that occurs when the star runs out of fuel. This causes the pressure to drop, with the cosmic object expanding to at least five times the mass of our sun — which is the size of about 333,000 Earths — then exploding, releasing tons of debris and particles.

The stellar explosion took place in the galaxy, SDSS.J141930.11+5251593, where JWST captured images showing an object’s light fading over five days – a clue that led to the theory of a supernova.

What’s also exciting is the fact that JWST was not designed to find and detect new transients, Mike Engesser of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) told us. Inverse who reported the discovery for the first time.

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Not only has James Webb spotted a supernova, but astronomers are baffled by the discovery because the telescope wasn't designed to find dying stars.

Not only has James Webb spotted a supernova, but astronomers are baffled by the discovery because the telescope wasn’t designed to find dying stars.

The potential supernova was captured by the NIRCam instrument designed to detect light from the earliest stars and galaxies using a wide range of infrared light.

NIRCam is equipped with coronagraphs, instruments that allow astronomers to take pictures of very faint objects around a central bright object, such as stellar systems or in this case stellar explosions.

JWST was investigating the distant galaxy, so capturing the supernova was a coincidence, Engesser told Inverse.

The dying star, which appears as a small bright dot in images, was not present in images of the galaxy taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2011.

The team used software to analyze the James Webb photo

The team used software to analyze the James Webb photo

Then the software looked at an image of the galaxy taken by Hubble in 2011 to see if there was anything else

Then the software looked at an image of the galaxy taken by Hubble in 2011 to see if there was anything else

The team used software to analyze the James Webb photo against the same photo taken by the Hubble in 2011, identifying the small, bright light.

Engesser and his team used software designed to detect differences in the photos that led to the bright dot.

JWST has proven its money well spent, even just a week after it went live. Not only did it deliver its first official deep-space photos on July 12, but a week later, scientists announced that it had discovered a 13.5 billion-year-old galaxy that is now the oldest in the universe seen by human eyes.

The galaxy, called GLASS-z13 (GN-z13), formed just 300 million years after the Big Bang that happened 13.8 billion years ago.

The previous record holder, discovered by the Hubble telescope in 2015, was GN-z11, which dates back 400 million years after the birth of the universe.

JWST took a look at GN-z13 using its Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) instrument, which is able to detect light from the earliest stars and galaxies.

JWST has proven its money well spent, even just a week after it went live.  Not only did it deliver its first official deep-space photos on July 12, but a week later, scientists announced that it had discovered a 13.5 billion-year-old galaxy that is now the oldest in the universe seen by human eyes.

JWST has proven its money well spent, even just a week after it went live.  Not only did it deliver its first official deep-space photos on July 12, but a week later, scientists announced that it had discovered a 13.5 billion-year-old galaxy that is now the oldest in the universe seen by human eyes.

JWST has proven its money well spent, even just a week after it went live. Not only did it deliver its first official deep-space photos on July 12, but a week later, scientists announced that it had discovered a 13.5 billion-year-old galaxy that is now the oldest in the universe seen by human eyes.

While surveying the area on its GN-z13, JWST also saw GN-z11.

Scientists at the Harvard and Smithsonian Center of Astrophysics in Massachusetts note that although they are both ancient, each of the galaxies is very small, New Scientist reports.

GN-z13 is about 1600 light years in diameter and GLASS z-11 is 2300 light years.

This compares to our own Milky Way with a diameter of about 100,000 light-years.

The article, published in arXiv, notes that both galaxies have a mass of one billion suns, which is because they formed shortly after the Big Bang.

The team suggests this happened as the galaxies grew and swallowed stars in the region.

“These two objects already impose new constraints on the evolution of galaxies in the cosmic dawn era,” researchers shared in the paper.

“They indicate that the discovery of GNz11 was not just a matter of luck, but that there is probably a population of UV light sources with very high star formation efficiency that can gather.”

The James Webb telescope: NASA’s $10 billion telescope is designed to detect light from the earliest stars and galaxies

The James Webb telescope has been described as a “time machine” that could help unravel the secrets of our universe.

The telescope will be used to look back at the first galaxies born in the early universe more than 13.5 billion years ago, and to observe the sources of stars, exoplanets and even the moons and planets of our solar system.

The massive telescope, which has already cost more than $7 billion (£5 billion), is thought to be a successor to the orbiting Hubble space telescope

The James Webb telescope and most of its instruments have an operating temperature of about 40 Kelvin – about minus 387 Fahrenheit (minus 233 Celsius).

It is the world’s largest and most powerful orbital space telescope, capable of looking back 100-200 million years after the Big Bang.

The orbiting infrared observatory is designed to be about 100 times more powerful than its predecessor, the Hubble Space Telescope.

NASA likes to think of James Webb as a successor to Hubble rather than a replacement, as the two will be working together for a while.

The Hubble Telescope was launched on April 24, 1990 via the space shuttle Discovery from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

It orbits the Earth at a speed of about 27,300 km/h in low Earth orbit at an altitude of about 340 miles.

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