According to scientists, the space telescope once again exceeded all expectations.
The Webb Space Telescope sent back to Earth a new image of deep space. This time around, his infrared-sensitive instruments captured a gigantic cluster of galaxies made up of thousands of such objects called the Pandora Cluster. The telescope image revealed previously unknown details in this megacluster, scientists say .
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Our Sun is one of the tens of billions of stars that make up the Milky Way. But our galaxy is one of the billions of galaxies in the universe. Often galaxies form galaxy clusters, where hundreds or even thousands of galaxies are held together by gravity.
But there are also giant clusters of galaxies, the so-called megaclusters, which combine several ordinary clusters of galaxies. A new image from the Webb Space Telescope shows one such megacluster, Abell 2744, or the Pandora Cluster. It is made up of three galaxy clusters that have coalesced together over millions of years. Scientists believe that the galaxies themselves in the Pandora cluster occupy only 5% of its mass, 20% is intergalactic gas, and 75% is mysterious dark matter.
But the Webb image shows not only the Pandora cluster, but also more distant galaxies, because in this case the cluster acts as a cosmic lens, that is, it amplifies the weaker infrared light from more distant objects. NASA believes that at least 50,000 sources of infrared light can be seen in this image, including distant galaxies visible due to the effect of gravitational lensing.
We were, to put it mildly, amazed at the quality of this image and the details that can be seen on it. In the Pandora cluster, which is visible in the foreground, we found many previously unknown features. And as for more distant galaxies, you can generally get lost in them , so many of them. The Webb Space Telescope has once again exceeded our expectations,” says Rachel Besanson from the University of Pittsburgh, USA.
NASA said in a statement that some very distant galaxies appear as curved streaks of light in this image. They were able to be seen due to the fact that the Pandora Cluster is the most powerful cosmic lens and it has such a huge mass that it distorts the fabric of space-time itself. This is enough for the light from distant galaxies passing through this curved space to also take on a curved appearance.
To make such a detailed image, the Webb telescope took 30 hours of observations of space. Now scientists want to get even more of these images, which will allow us to better study the most ancient and distant galaxies.
To date, only the Webb telescope can look deep into space and see what galaxies looked like in the early universe.
“When I saw this image, at first I thought it was a computer simulation, it is so beautiful. But this is reality, this is really what the Webb telescope can give us. A new era in astronomy has already begun,” says Ivo Labbe from the Technological University Swinburne, Australia.
Focus already wrote about another amazing image from the Webb telescope, which shows two spiral galaxies that are very far from us, surrounded by thousands of other similar objects.
Focus also wrote that scientists have come to the conclusion that our solar system is an extremely rare phenomenon in the universe . Astronomers believe that according to the new classification of planetary systems, our star system is the rarest case in space.