From The NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope Via “Science Alert (AU)” : “Webb Has Snapped an Almost Perfect Einstein Ring 12 Billion Light-Years Away”

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National Aeronautics Space Agency/European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU)/ Canadian Space Agency [Agence Spatiale Canadienne](CA) James Webb Infrared Space Telescope annotated, finally launched December 25, 2021, ten years late.

From The NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope

Via

ScienceAlert

“Science Alert (AU)”

8.28.22
Fiona MacDonald

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Colorized image of a distant Einstein ring. (JWST/MAST; Spaceguy44/Reddit)

Since the first James Webb Space Telescope images were released in July, our feeds have been flooded with mind-bogglingly gorgeous photos of space – from insanely detailed images of Jupiter to the most distant known star.

Now, Webb has done it again, this time capturing an almost perfect Einstein ring roughly 12 billion light-years away. And we can’t stop staring.

You can see the colorized image, which was shared by astronomy grad student Spaceguy44 on Reddit, below.

An Einstein ring occurs when a distant galaxy has been magnified and wrapped into an almost-perfect ring by a massive galaxy in front of it.

The galaxy in question is called SPT-S J041839-4751.8 and it’s a whopping 12 billion light-years away.

Here’s a more distant view of it, also processed by Spaceguy44:

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Galaxy SPT-S J041839-4751.8. (JWST/MAST; Spaceguy44/Reddit)

According to Spaceguy44, we wouldn’t be able to see this galaxy at all if it wasn’t for the Einstein ring.

And the presence of Einstein rings, in addition to looking beautiful, allows us to study these otherwise almost impossible to see galaxies.

This process is known as gravitational lensing, and it’s an effect predicted by Einstein – hence the name.

The effect only happens when the distant galaxy, the closer magnifying galaxy, and the observer (in this case the Webb space telescope) line up.

If you want to try it for yourself, Spaceguy44 says that the stem and base of a wine glass create a similar effect. Try doing it with a page of a book and seeing the word zoomed in.

Although catching sight of Einstein rings is rare, it’s not unheard of. Hubble previously captured images of spectacular Einstein rings.

This isn’t even the first time Webb has captured the Einstein ring of SPT-S J041839-4751.8.

The space telescope’s Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) [below] captured the same region back in August, and Spaceguy44 colorized and released it then, too.

But the image, below, wasn’t as clear.

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Near-infrared image of the Einstein ring. (JWST/MAST; Spaceguy44/Reddit)

In the latest image, the data was captured by Webb’s Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) camera [below], and downloaded from the MAST portal.

The image uses three different filters. Red is the F1000W filter, which captures wavelengths of light at 10µm. Green is the F770W filter, for 7.7µm wavelengths. Blue is the F560W filter which picks up 5.6µm wavelengths.

The images were then aligned and colorized by Spaceguy44 using astropy, and further processing was done in GIMP.

See the full article here .

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The NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope is a large infrared telescope with a 6.5-meter primary mirror. Webb was finally launched December 25, 2021, ten years late. The James Webb Space Telescope will be the premier observatory of the next decade, serving thousands of astronomers worldwide. It will study every phase in the history of our Universe, ranging from the first luminous glows after the Big Bang, to the formation of solar systems capable of supporting life on planets like Earth, to the evolution of our own Solar System.

The James Webb Space Telescope is the world’s largest, most powerful, and most complex space science telescope ever built. Webb will solve mysteries in our solar system, look beyond to distant worlds around other stars, and probe the mysterious structures and origins of our universe and our place in it.

Webb telescope will be the premier observatory of the next decade, serving thousands of astronomers worldwide. It will study every phase in the history of our Universe, ranging from the first luminous glows after the Big Bang, to the formation of solar systems capable of supporting life on planets like Earth, to the evolution of our own Solar System.

Webb telescope was formerly known as the “Next Generation Space Telescope” (NGST); it was renamed in Sept. 2002 after a former NASA administrator, James Webb.

Webb is an international collaboration between National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center managed the development effort. The main industrial partner is Northrop Grumman; the Space Telescope Science Institute will operate Webb after launch.

Several innovative technologies have been developed for Webb. These include a folding, segmented primary mirror, adjusted to shape after launch; ultra-lightweight beryllium optics; detectors able to record extremely weak signals, microshutters that enable programmable object selection for the spectrograph; and a cryocooler for cooling the mid-IR detectors to 7K.

There are four science instruments on Webb: The Near InfraRed Camera (NIRCam), The Near InfraRed Spectrograph (NIRspec), The Mid-InfraRed Instrument (MIRI), and The Fine Guidance Sensor/ Near InfraRed Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (FGS-NIRISS). Webb’s instruments are designed to work primarily in the infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum, with some capability in the visible range. It will be sensitive to light from 0.6 to 28 micrometers in wavelength.
National Aeronautics Space Agency Webb NIRCam.

The European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU) Webb MIRI schematic.

Webb Fine Guidance Sensor-Near InfraRed Imager and Slitless Spectrograph FGS/NIRISS.

Webb has four main science themes: The End of the Dark Ages: First Light and Reionization, The Assembly of Galaxies, The Birth of Stars and Protoplanetary Systems, and Planetary Systems and the Origins of Life.

Launch was December 25, 2021 on an Ariane 5 rocket. The launch was from Arianespace’s ELA-3 launch complex at European Spaceport located near Kourou, French Guiana. Webb is located at the second Lagrange point, about a million miles from the Earth.

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