James Webb captures a famous starburst with unprecedented resolution

James Webb captures a famous starburst with unprecedented resolution

By diving back into the study of the Milky Way’s most recent supernova explosion, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has revealed secrets left undiscovered by previous observations, such as revealing a giant, previously unknown cosmic mirror.

The last time a supernova was seen in our galaxy was in 1604. After that, at least one event occurred, which we did not notice. Astronomers have since made remarkable discoveries, such as the expanding layer of gas called Cassiopeia A.

Using radio astronomy, scientists have determined that this remnant produces the loudest radio sounds outside the solar system (above 1 GHz). This scientific importance led to the launch of a telescope dedicated exclusively to studying X-rays, which captured everything in a 15-minute flight.

New James Webb Telescope notes: Amazing resolution

Despite its observing power in radio and X-rays, the James Webb Telescope revealed unique features of Cassiopeia A in the infrared. I recently identified a feature called the “Green Monster,” an area that, while not actually green (since the James Webb Space Telescope operates at wavelengths invisible to the naked eye), emits a glow at a specific wavelength, much to my astonishment. Scientists.

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After this round of observations, astronomers are left with more questions than answers. They decided to use different instruments from the James Webb Space Telescope, such as the Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) and the Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam) in a new investigation.

Reveal every unique detail. For example, NIRCam captured less variation in Cassiopeia A’s emissions, resulting in a less colorful image compared to MIRI.

The NIRCam image provides stunning resolution, showing stunning detail of the starburst. Danny Milisavljevic, an astronomer at Purdue University in the United States of America, confirmed the ability of this device to show how the star disintegrated after the explosion, revealing filaments resembling small glass shards.

It’s truly incredible that after all these years of studying Cas A, we have now discovered these details, which provide us with transformative insight into how this star exploded.

Danny Milisavljevic, astronomer at Purdue University, USA

Furthermore, NIRCam made it possible to visualize a bubble that was previously invisible at other wavelengths, called “Baby Cas A,” suggesting that the remains may have generated this structure.

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These discoveries not only support but also expand understanding of Cassiopeia A, offering new perspectives on cosmic mysteries and the behavior of stars in the final stages of their lives.

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About the Author: Osmond Blake

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