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  • richardmitnick 8:28 am on September 21, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "New Webb Image Captures Clearest View of Neptune’s Rings in Decades", , , , , The NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope   

    From The NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope: “New Webb Image Captures Clearest View of Neptune’s Rings in Decades” 

    NASA Webb Header

    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

    9.21.22
    RELEASE Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI

    MEDIA CONTACTS:

    Hannah Braun
    Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Maryland

    Christine Pulliam
    Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Maryland

    Neptune (NIRCam)
    1
    About This Image

    This image of the Neptune system, captured by Webb’s Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam), reveals stunning views of the planet’s rings, which have not been seen with this clarity in more than three decades. Webb’s new image of Neptune also captures details of the planet’s turbulent, windy atmosphere.

    Neptune, an ice giant, has an interior that is much richer in elements heavier than hydrogen and helium, like methane, than the gas giants Jupiter and Saturn. Methane appears blue in visible wavelengths but, as evident in Webb’s image, that’s not the case in the near-infrared.

    Methane so strongly absorbs red and infrared light that the planet is quite dark at near-infrared wavelengths, except where high-altitude clouds are present. These methane-ice clouds are prominent in Webb’s image as bright streaks and spots, which reflect sunlight before it is absorbed by methane gas.

    To the upper left of the planet in this image, one of Neptune’s moons, Triton, also sports Webb’s distinctive eight diffraction spikes, an artifact of the telescope’s structure. Webb also captured 6 more of Neptune’s 14 known moons, along with a smattering of distant galaxies that appear as dim splotches and a nearby star.

    NIRCam was built by a team at the University of Arizona and Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Technology Center.
    Credits: IMAGE: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI IMAGE PROCESSING: Joseph DePasquale (STScI)

    Neptune Close Up (NIRCam)
    2
    About This Image

    Webb’s Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam) image of Neptune, taken on July 12, 2022, brings the planet’s rings into full focus for the first time in more than three decades.

    The most prominent features of Neptune’s atmosphere in this image are a series of bright patches in the planet’s southern hemisphere that represent high-altitude methane-ice clouds. More subtly, a thin line of brightness circling the planet’s equator could be a visual signature of global atmospheric circulation that powers Neptune’s winds and storms. Additionally, for the first time, Webb has teased out a continuous band of high-latitude clouds surrounding a previously-known vortex at Neptune’s southern pole.

    NIRCam was built by a team at the University of Arizona and Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Technology Center.
    Credits:

    IMAGE: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI
    IMAGE PROCESSING: Joseph DePasquale (STScI)

    Neptune (NIRCam) Labeled
    3
    About This Image

    In this version of Webb’s Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam) image of Neptune, the planet’s visible moons are labeled. Neptune has 14 known satellites, and seven of them are visible in this image.

    Triton, the bright spot of light in the upper left of this image, far outshines Neptune because the planet’s atmosphere is darkened by methane absorption at wavelengths captured by Webb. Triton reflects an average of 70 percent of the sunlight that hits it. Triton, which orbits Neptune in a backward orbit, is suspected to have originally been a Kuiper belt object that was gravitationally captured by Neptune.

    NIRCam was built by a team at the University of Arizona and Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Technology Center.

    Credits:

    IMAGE: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI
    IMAGE PROCESSING: Joseph DePasquale (STScI)

    Neptune Wide Field (NIRCam)
    4
    About This Image

    In this image by Webb’s Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam), a smattering of hundreds of background galaxies, varying in size and shape, appear alongside the Neptune system.

    Neptune, when compared to Earth, is a big planet. If Earth were the size of a nickel, Neptune would be as big as a basketball. In most portraits, the outer planets of our solar system reflect this otherworldly size. However, Neptune appears relatively small in a wide-field view of the vast universe.

    Towards the bottom left of this image, a barred spiral galaxy comes into focus. Scientists say this particular galaxy, previously unexplored in detail, may be about a billion light-years away. Spiral galaxies like this are typically dominated by young stars that appear blueish in these wavelengths.

    NIRCam was built by a team at the University of Arizona and Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Technology Center.
    Credits:

    IMAGE: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI
    IMAGE PROCESSING: Joseph DePasquale (STScI)

    Neptune Wide Field (NIRCam) Compass
    5
    About This Image

    Credits:

    IMAGE: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI
    IMAGE PROCESSING: Joseph DePasquale (STScI)

    Summary
    Infrared Observations Tease Out Never Seen Atmospheric and Ring Details

    Neptune lurks in one of the dimmest parts of our solar system. With its complex rings, bizarre moon, Triton, and roaring winds faster than the speed of sound here on Earth, Neptune has long perplexed astronomers. Just one spacecraft, Voyager 2, has ever visited this far-flung planet, and observations from both space- and ground-based telescopes over the years have tracked the many turbulent storms.

    Now, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope’s first look at this ice giant is giving us a long-awaited glimpse of those crisp rings and teasing out details of its mysterious storms.
    _____________________________________________________________
    NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope shows off its capabilities closer to home with its first image of Neptune. Not only has Webb captured the clearest view of this distant planet’s rings in more than 30 years, but its cameras reveal the ice giant in a whole new light.

    Most striking in Webb’s new image is the crisp view of the planet’s rings – some of which have not been detected since NASA’s Voyager 2 became the first spacecraft to observe Neptune during its flyby in 1989.

    In addition to several bright, narrow rings, the Webb image clearly shows Neptune’s fainter dust bands.

    “It has been three decades since we last saw those faint, dusty bands, and this is the first time we’ve seen them in the infrared,” notes Heidi Hammel, a Neptune system expert and interdisciplinary scientist for Webb. Webb’s extremely stable and precise image quality permits these very faint rings to be detected so close to Neptune.

    Neptune has fascinated researchers since its discovery in 1846. Located 30 times farther from the Sun than Earth, Neptune orbits in the remote, dark region of the outer solar system. At that extreme distance, the Sun is so small and faint that high noon on Neptune is similar to a dim twilight on Earth.

    This planet is characterized as an ice giant due to the chemical make-up of its interior. Compared to the gas giants, Jupiter and Saturn, Neptune is much richer in elements heavier than hydrogen and helium. This is readily apparent in Neptune’s signature blue appearance in Hubble Space Telescope images at visible wavelengths, caused by small amounts of gaseous methane.

    6
    About This Image from Hubble

    In observations taken on September 7th, researchers found that Neptune’s dark spot, which recently was found to have reversed course from moving toward the equator, is still visible in this image, along with a darkened northern hemisphere. There is also a notable dark, elongated circle encompassing Neptune’s south pole. Neptune’s and Uranus’ blue color is a result of the absorption of red light by the planets’ methane-rich atmosphere, combined with the same Rayleigh-scattering process that makes the Earth’s sky blue. In 2021, there are few bright clouds on Neptune, and its distinct blue with a singular large dark spot is very reminiscent of what Voyager 2 saw in 1989.
    Credits:

    SCIENCE: NASA, ESA, Amy Simon (NASA-GSFC), Michael H. Wong (UC Berkeley)
    IMAGE PROCESSING: Alyssa Pagan (STScI)

    Webb’s Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam) images objects in the near-infrared range from 0.6 to 5 microns, so Neptune does not appear blue to Webb. In fact, the methane gas so strongly absorbs red and infrared light that the planet is quite dark at these near-infrared wavelengths, except where high-altitude clouds are present. Such methane-ice clouds are prominent as bright streaks and spots, which reflect sunlight before it is absorbed by methane gas. Images from other observatories, including the Hubble Space Telescope and the W.M. Keck Observatory, have recorded these rapidly evolving cloud features over the years.

    More subtly, a thin line of brightness circling the planet’s equator could be a visual signature of global atmospheric circulation that powers Neptune’s winds and storms. The atmosphere descends and warms at the equator, and thus glows at infrared wavelengths more than the surrounding, cooler gases.

    Neptune’s 164-year orbit means its northern pole, at the top of this image, is just out of view for astronomers, but the Webb images hint at an intriguing brightness in that area. A previously-known vortex at the southern pole is evident in Webb’s view, but for the first time Webb has revealed a continuous band of high-latitude clouds surrounding it.

    Webb also captured seven of Neptune’s 14 known moons. Dominating this Webb portrait of Neptune is a very bright point of light sporting the signature diffraction spikes seen in many of Webb’s images, but this is not a star. Rather, this is Neptune’s large and unusual moon, Triton.

    Covered in a frozen sheen of condensed nitrogen, Triton reflects an average of 70 percent of the sunlight that hits it. It far outshines Neptune in this image because the planet’s atmosphere is darkened by methane absorption at these near-infrared wavelengths. Triton orbits Neptune in an unusual backward (retrograde) orbit, leading astronomers to speculate that this moon was originally a Kuiper belt object that was gravitationally captured by Neptune. Additional Webb studies of both Triton and Neptune are planned in the coming year.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    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 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 operates Webb.

    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.

    ESA50 Logo large

    Canadian Space Agency

     
  • richardmitnick 10:22 am on September 19, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , "Webb telescope captures 'breathtaking' images of Orion Nebula", The NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope   

    From The NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope Via “phys.org” : “Webb telescope captures ‘breathtaking’ images of Orion Nebula” 

    NASA Webb Header

    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

    “phys.org”

    9.12.22

    1
    The inner region of the Orion Nebula as seen by the James Webb Space Telescope’s NIRCam instrument [below]. Credit: NASA.

    The wall of dense gas and dust resembles a massive winged creature, its glowing maw lit by a bright star as it soars through cosmic filaments.

    An international research team on Monday revealed the first images of the Orion Nebula captured with the James Webb Space Telescope, leaving astronomers “blown away.”

    The stellar nursery is situated in the constellation Orion, 1,350 light-years away from Earth, in a similar setting in which our own solar system was birthed more than 4.5 billion years ago.

    Astronomers are interested in the region to better understand what happened during the first million years of our planetary evolution.


    Webb telescope captures ‘breathtaking’ images of Orion Nebula.

    The images were obtained as part of the Early Release Science program and involved more than 100 scientists in 18 countries, with institutions including the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), Western University in Canada, and the University of Michigan.

    “We are blown away by the breathtaking images of the Orion Nebula,” Western University astrophysicist Els Peeters said in a statement.

    “These new observations allow us to better understand how massive stars transform the gas and dust cloud in which they are born,” she added.

    2
    Credit: NASA.

    Nebulas are obscured by large amounts of dust that made it impossible to observe with visible light telescopes, such as the Hubble Space Telescope, Webb’s predecessor.

    Webb however operates primarily in the infrared spectrum, penetrating the dust.

    This revealed numerous spectacular structures, down to the scale of 40 astronomical units, or the size of our solar system.

    3
    Orion Nebula: JWST versus Hubble Space Telescope (HST). Credit: NASA.

    These include dense filaments of matter, which could birth new generations of stars, as well as forming stellar systems that consist of a central proto-star surrounded by a disk of dust and gas, in which planets form.

    “We hope to gain understanding about the entire cycle of star birth,” said Edwin Bergin, University of Michigan chair of astronomy and a member of the international research team.

    4
    Orion Nebula: JWST versus the Spitzer Space Telescope. Credit: NASA.

    “In this image we are looking at this cycle where the first generation of stars is essentially irradiating the material for the next generation. The incredible structures we observe will detail how the feedback cycle of stellar birth occurs in our galaxy and beyond.”

    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 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 operates Webb.

    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.

    ESA50 Logo large

    Canadian Space Agency

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    ESA50 Logo large

    Canadian Space Agency

     
  • richardmitnick 10:30 am on September 6, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "A Cosmic Tarantula Caught by NASA’s Webb", , , , , , The NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope   

    From The NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope: “A Cosmic Tarantula Caught by NASA’s Webb” 

    NASA Webb Header

    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

    9.6.22
    RELEASE: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI

    MEDIA CONTACT:

    Leah Ramsay
    Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Maryland

    Christine Pulliam
    Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Maryland

    Tarantula Nebula (NIRCam Image)

    1
    About This Image

    In this mosaic image stretching 340 light-years across, Webb’s Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam) displays the Tarantula Nebula star-forming region in a new light, including tens of thousands of never-before-seen young stars that were previously shrouded in cosmic dust. The most active region appears to sparkle with massive young stars, appearing pale blue. Scattered among them are still-embedded stars, appearing red, yet to emerge from the dusty cocoon of the nebula. NIRCam is able to detect these dust-enshrouded stars thanks to its unprecedented resolution at near-infrared wavelengths.

    To the upper left of the cluster of young stars, and the top of the nebula’s cavity, an older star prominently displays NIRCam’s distinctive eight diffraction spikes, an artifact of the telescope’s structure. Following the top central spike of this star upward, it almost points to a distinctive bubble in the cloud. Young stars still surrounded by dusty material are blowing this bubble, beginning to carve out their own cavity. Astronomers used two of Webb’s spectrographs to take a closer look at this region and determine the chemical makeup of the star and its surrounding gas. This spectral information will tell astronomers about the age of the nebula and how many generations of star birth it has seen.

    Farther from the core region of hot young stars, cooler gas takes on a rust color, telling astronomers that the nebula is rich with complex hydrocarbons. This dense gas is the material that will form future stars. As winds from the massive stars sweep away gas and dust, some of it will pile up and, with gravity’s help, form new stars.

    NIRCam was built by a team at the University of Arizona and Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Technology Center.

    Credits: IMAGE: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, Webb ERO Production Team

    Tarantula Nebula (MIRI Image)
    2
    About This Image

    At the longer wavelengths of light captured by its Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI), Webb focuses on the area surrounding the central star cluster and unveils a very different view of the Tarantula Nebula. In this light, the young hot stars of the cluster fade in brilliance, and glowing gas and dust come forward. Abundant hydrocarbons light up the surfaces of the dust clouds, shown in blue and purple. Much of the nebula takes on a more ghostly, diffuse appearance because mid-infrared light is able to show more of what is happening deeper inside the clouds. Still-embedded protostars pop into view within their dusty cocoons, including a bright group at the very top edge of the image, left of center.

    Other areas appear dark, like in the lower-right corner of the image. This indicates the densest areas of dust in the nebula, that even mid-infrared wavelengths cannot penetrate. These could be the sites of future, or current, star formation.

    MIRI was contributed by ESA and NASA, with the instrument designed and built by a consortium of nationally funded European Institutes (The MIRI European Consortium) in partnership with JPL and the University of Arizona.

    Credits: IMAGE: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, Webb ERO Production Team

    Tarantula Nebula (NIRSpec IFU)
    3
    About This Image

    Webb’s Near-Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec) reveals what is really going on in an intriguing region of the Tarantula Nebula. Astronomers focused the powerful instrument on what looked like a small bubble feature in the image from Webb’s Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam). However, the spectra reveal a very different picture from a young star blowing a bubble in its surrounding gas.

    The signature of atomic hydrogen, shown in blue, shows up in the star itself but not immediately surrounding it. Instead, it appears outside the “bubble,” which spectra show is actually “filled” with molecular hydrogen (green) and complex hydrocarbons (red). This indicates that the bubble is actually the top of a dense pillar of dust and gas that is being blasted by radiation from the cluster of massive young stars to its lower right (see the full NIRCam image). It does not appear as pillar-like as some other structures in the nebula because there is not much color contrast with the area surrounding it.

    The harsh stellar wind from the massive young stars in the nebula is breaking apart molecules outside the pillar, but inside they are preserved, forming a cushy cocoon for the star. This star is still too young to be clearing out its surroundings by blowing bubbles – NIRSpec has captured it just beginning to emerge from the protective cloud from which it was formed. Without Webb’s resolution at infrared wavelengths, the discovery of this star birth in action would not have been possible.

    NIRSpec was built for the European Space Agency (ESA) by a consortium of European companies led by Airbus Defence and Space (ADS) with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center providing its detector and micro-shutter subsystems.

    Credits:

    ILLUSTRATION: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, Webb ERO Production Team

    Tarantula Nebula (NIRCam Compass Image)
    4
    About This Image

    Credits: IMAGE: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, Webb ERO Production Team

    30 Doradus (MIRI Compass Image)
    5
    About This Image

    Credits: IMAGE: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, Webb ERO Production Team

    Summary
    A new story of star formation unfolds.

    NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope presents a new perspective on 30 Doradus, or the Tarantula Nebula, a region well-known to astronomers studying star formation. Its nickname once came from its resemblance to the spider itself, but in Webb’s view the overall region takes on the appearance of a tarantula’s home—a burrow lined with its own spun silk. The Tarantula Nebula shelters thousands of young and still-forming stars, many revealed by Webb for the first time.

    A range of Webb’s high-resolution infrared instruments, working together, reveal the stars, structure, and composition of the nebula with a level of detail not previously possible. Astronomers will use Webb throughout its mission to gain insight into star formation and the stellar lifecycle, the implications of which extend to our own star, the Sun, as well as the formation of the heavy chemical elements that are integral to life as we know it.
    _____________________________________________________________
    Once upon a space-time, a cosmic creation story unfolded: Thousands of never-before-seen young stars spotted in a stellar nursery called 30 Doradus, captured by NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope. Nicknamed the Tarantula Nebula for the appearance of its dusty filaments in previous telescope images, the nebula has long been a favorite for astronomers studying star formation. In addition to young stars, Webb reveals distant background galaxies, as well as the detailed structure and composition of the nebula’s gas and dust.

    At only 161,000 light-years away in the Large Magellanic Cloud galaxy, the Tarantula Nebula is the largest and brightest star-forming region in the Local Group, the galaxies nearest our Milky Way.

    It is home to the hottest, most massive stars known. Astronomers focused three of Webb’s high-resolution infrared instruments on the Tarantula. Viewed with Webb’s Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam [below]), the region resembles a burrowing tarantula’s home, lined with its silk. The nebula’s cavity centered in the NIRCam image has been hollowed out by blistering radiation from a cluster of massive young stars, which sparkle pale blue in the image. Only the densest surrounding areas of the nebula resist erosion by these stars’ powerful stellar winds, forming pillars that appear to point back toward the cluster. These pillars contain forming protostars, which will eventually emerge from their dusty cocoons and take their turn shaping the nebula.

    Webb’s Near-Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec [below]) caught one very young star doing just that. Astronomers previously thought this star might be a bit older and already in the process of clearing out a bubble around itself. However, NIRSpec showed that the star was only just beginning to emerge from its pillar and still maintained an insulating cloud of dust around itself. Without Webb’s high-resolution spectra at infrared wavelengths, this episode of star formation-in-action could not have been revealed.

    The region takes on a different appearance when viewed in the longer infrared wavelengths detected by Webb’s Mid-infrared Instrument (MIRI [below]). The hot stars fade, and the cooler gas and dust glow. Within the stellar nursery clouds, points of light indicate embedded protostars, still gaining mass. While shorter wavelengths of light are absorbed or scattered by dust grains in the nebula, and therefore never reach Webb to be detected, longer mid-infrared wavelengths penetrate that dust, ultimately revealing a previously unseen cosmic environment.

    One of the reasons the Tarantula Nebula is interesting to astronomers is that the nebula has a similar type of chemical composition as the gigantic star-forming regions observed at the universe’s “cosmic noon,” when the cosmos was only a few billion years old and star formation was at its peak.

    Star-forming regions in our Milky Way galaxy are not producing stars at the same furious rate as the Tarantula Nebula, and have a different chemical composition. This makes the Tarantula the closest (i.e., easiest to see in detail) example of what was happening in the universe as it reached its brilliant high noon. Webb will provide astronomers the opportunity to compare and contrast observations of star formation in the Tarantula Nebula with the telescope’s deep observations of distant galaxies from the actual era of cosmic noon.

    Despite humanity’s thousands of years of stargazing, the star-formation process still holds many mysteries – many of them due to our previous inability to get crisp images of what was happening behind the thick clouds of stellar nurseries. Webb has already begun revealing a universe never seen before, and is only getting started on rewriting the stellar creation story.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    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 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 operates Webb.

    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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    Canadian Space Agency

     
  • richardmitnick 7:51 am on August 30, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Extraordinary Phenomenon in Space Captured by Spellbinding New Image", A colliding wind binary consisting of an extremely rare Wolf-Rayet star called WR 140 and a hot massive O-type star companion – another rare object., , , The NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope, When the two stars enter periastron – a distance about a third greater than the distance between Earth and the Sun – they become close enough that their powerful winds collide., Where it gets interesting: their orbit which is elliptical with a point at which they are farthest apart from each other ("apastron") and a point at which they are closest to each other ("periastron")   

    From The NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope VIA “Science Alert (AU)” : “Extraordinary Phenomenon in Space Captured by Spellbinding New Image” 

    NASA Webb Header

    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)”

    8.30.22
    Michelle Starr

    1
    James Webb Space Telescope’s new image of the spectacular nebular around WR 140. (JWST/MIRI/Judy Schmidt)

    The Universe, truly, is full of wonders, and the James Webb Space Telescope has just given us our best views of one of them yet.

    The object in question is a star around 5,600 light-years away, and Webb’s infrared eye has picked out an extraordinary detail: it’s surrounded by what appear to be concentric rings of light radiating outward.

    While Webb’s characteristic diffraction spikes are not ‘real’, those concentric rings are – and there’s a wonderful and fascinating explanation for them.

    The star is actually a binary pair of rare stars in the constellation of Cygnus, and their interactions produce precise periodic eruptions of dust that are expanding out in shells into the space around the pair over time.

    These shells of dust are glowing in infrared, which has allowed an instrument as sensitive as Webb’s MIRI instrument [below] to resolve them in exquisite detail.

    2
    The full image as processed by Judy Schmidt. (JWST/MIRI/Judy Schmidt)

    The star is what is known as a colliding wind binary, consisting of an extremely rare Wolf-Rayet star called WR 140 and a hot massive O-type star companion – another rare object.

    Wolf-Rayet stars are very hot, very luminous, and very old; at the end of their main-sequence lifespan. They are significantly depleted in hydrogen, rich in nitrogen or carbon, and losing mass at a very high rate.

    O-type stars are among the most massive stars known, also very hot and bright; because they are so massive, their lifespans are incredibly brief.

    Both stars in the WR 140 system have fast stellar winds, blowing out into space at around 3,000 kilometers (1,864 miles) per second. Both are therefore losing mass at a pretty furious rate. So far so normal, for both stars.

    Where it gets interesting is their orbit which is elliptical. This means the stars don’t describe nice, neat circles around each other, but ovals, with a point at which they are farthest apart from each other (“apastron”) and a point at which they are closest to each other (“periastron”).

    When the two stars enter periastron – a distance about a third greater than the distance between Earth and the Sun – they become close enough that their powerful winds collide.

    This produces shocks in the material around the stars, accelerating particles and generating energetic radiation, such as X-rays. These colliding winds also induce episodes of dust formation as the material in the colliding stellar wind cools.

    This process can be seen in the animation below, which shows what the system would look like from the top down.

    3
    Animation showing how the WR 140 binary produces dust at periastron. (Joseph Olmsted/STScI/NASA/ESA)

    The dust is a form of carbon, which absorbs ultraviolet light from the two stars. This heats the dust, causing it to re-emit thermal radiation – which is what is observed by Webb in infrared wavelengths.

    The dust is then blown outward by the stellar wind, resulting in the expansion of the partial dust shells. They expand and cool as they are blown outward, losing heat and density.

    What you’re looking at in Webb’s image is a bit like a series of bubbles; the edge of each dust shell is more visible because you’re looking at a denser concentration of material due to perspective.

    Because the binary star’s orbit has a 7.94-year period, the wind collision and dust production occur like clockwork every 7.94 years. This means you can count the rings of the nebula around the binary, like tree rings, to determine the age of the outermost visible dust shell.

    Around 20 rings are visible, which means you can see around 160 years’ worth of dust shells in the Webb image. The most recent WR 140 periastron was observed in 2016.

    Webb’s observation of WR 140 was requested by a team led by astrophysicist Ryan Lau of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Institute of Space and Astronautical Science.

    They’re preparing a paper on the observations, so it’s possible that we’re on the brink of finding out something new about this fascinating, crazy star.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    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 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 operates Webb.

    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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    Canadian Space Agency

     
  • richardmitnick 10:02 am on August 29, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Webb inspects the heart of the Phantom Galaxy", , , , , The NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope   

    From The European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne] [Europäische Weltraumorganization](EU) And The NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope: “Webb inspects the heart of the Phantom Galaxy” 

    ESA Space For Europe Banner

    European Space Agency – United Space in Europe (EU)

    From The European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne] [Europäische Weltraumorganization](EU)

    And

    NASA Webb Header

    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

    8.29.22

    1
    Phantom Galaxy across the spectrum. Messier 74 shines at its brightest in this combined optical/mid-infrared image, featuring data from both the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope.

    With Hubble’s venerable Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) and Webb’s powerful Mid-InfraRed Instrument (MIRI) [below] capturing a range of wavelengths, this new image has remarkable depth.

    The red colours mark dust threaded through the arms of the galaxy, lighter oranges being areas of hotter dust. The young stars throughout the arms and the nuclear core are picked out in blue. Heavier, older stars towards the galaxy’s centre are shown in cyan and green, projecting a spooky glow from the core of the Phantom Galaxy. Bubbles of star formation are also visible in pink across the arms. Such a variety of galactic features is rare to see in a single image.

    Scientists combine data from telescopes operating across the electromagnetic spectrum to truly understand astronomical objects. In this way, data from Hubble and Webb compliment each other to provide a comprehensive view of the spectacular Messier 74 galaxy.

    © ESA/Webb, NASA & CSA, J. Lee and the PHANGS-JWST Team; ESA/Hubble & NASA, R. Chandar Acknowledgement: J. Schmidt.

    New images of the spectacular Phantom Galaxy, Messier 74, showcase the power of space observatories working together in multiple wavelengths. In this case, data from the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope and the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope compliment each other to provide a comprehensive view of the galaxy.

    The Phantom Galaxy is around 32 million light-years away from Earth in the constellation Pisces, and lies almost face-on to Earth. This, coupled with its well-defined spiral arms, makes it a favorite target for astronomers studying the origin and structure of galactic spirals.

    Messier 74 is a particular class of spiral galaxy known as a ‘grand design spiral’, meaning that its spiral arms are prominent and well-defined, unlike the patchy and ragged structure seen in some spiral galaxies.

    Webb’s sharp vision has revealed delicate filaments of gas and dust in the grandiose spiral arms of M74, which wind outwards from the centre of the image. A lack of gas in the nuclear region also provides an unobscured view of the nuclear star cluster at the galaxy’s centre.

    Webb gazed into Messier 74 with its Mid-InfraRed Instrument (MIRI) [below] in order to learn more about the earliest phases of star formation in the local Universe. These observations are part of a larger effort to chart 19 nearby star-forming galaxies in the infrared by the international PHANGS collaboration. Those galaxies have already been observed using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and ground-based observatories.

    3
    Multi-observatory views of Messier 74.

    The addition of crystal-clear Webb observations at longer wavelengths will allow astronomers to pinpoint star-forming regions in the galaxies, accurately measure the masses and ages of star clusters, and gain insights into the nature of the small grains of dust drifting in interstellar space.

    
Hubble observations of Messier 74 have revealed particularly bright areas of star formation known as HII regions. Hubble’s sharp vision at ultraviolet and visible wavelengths complements Webb’s unparalleled sensitivity at infrared wavelengths, as do observations from ground-based radio telescopes such as the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, ALMA.

    By combining data from telescopes operating across the electromagnetic spectrum, scientists can gain greater insight into astronomical objects than by using a single observatory – even one as powerful as Webb!

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    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 operates Webb.

    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 is 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.

    ESA50 Logo large

    Canadian Space Agency

    The European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC (NL) in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the
    European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

    ESA’s space flight programme includes human spaceflight (mainly through participation in the International Space Station program); the launch and operation of uncrewed exploration missions to other planets and the Moon; Earth observation, science and telecommunication; designing launch vehicles; and maintaining a major spaceport, the The Guiana Space Centre [Centre Spatial Guyanais; CSG also called Europe’s Spaceport) at Kourou, French Guiana. The main European launch vehicle Ariane 5 is operated through Arianespace with ESA sharing in the costs of launching and further developing this launch vehicle. The agency is also working with NASA to manufacture the Orion Spacecraft service module that will fly on the Space Launch System.

    The agency’s facilities are distributed among the following centres:

    ESA European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) (NL) in Noordwijk, Netherlands;
    ESA Centre for Earth Observation [ESRIN] (IT) in Frascati, Italy;
    ESA Mission Control ESA European Space Operations Center [ESOC](DE) is in Darmstadt, Germany;
    ESA -European Astronaut Centre [EAC] trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany;
    European Centre for Space Applications and Telecommunications (ECSAT) (UK), a research institute created in 2009, is located in Harwell, England;
    ESA – European Space Astronomy Centre [ESAC] (ES) is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Madrid, Spain.
    European Space Agency Science Programme is a long-term programme of space science and space exploration missions.

    Foundation

    After World War II, many European scientists left Western Europe in order to work with the United States. Although the 1950s boom made it possible for Western European countries to invest in research and specifically in space-related activities, Western European scientists realized solely national projects would not be able to compete with the two main superpowers. In 1958, only months after the Sputnik shock, Edoardo Amaldi (Italy) and Pierre Auger (France), two prominent members of the Western European scientific community, met to discuss the foundation of a common Western European space agency. The meeting was attended by scientific representatives from eight countries, including Harrie Massey (United Kingdom).

    The Western European nations decided to have two agencies: one concerned with developing a launch system, ELDO (European Launch Development Organization), and the other the precursor of the European Space Agency, ESRO (European Space Research Organisation). The latter was established on 20 March 1964 by an agreement signed on 14 June 1962. From 1968 to 1972, ESRO launched seven research satellites.

    ESA in its current form was founded with the ESA Convention in 1975, when ESRO was merged with ELDO. ESA had ten founding member states: Belgium, Denmark, France, West Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. These signed the ESA Convention in 1975 and deposited the instruments of ratification by 1980, when the convention came into force. During this interval the agency functioned in a de facto fashion. ESA launched its first major scientific mission in 1975, Cos-B, a space probe monitoring gamma-ray emissions in the universe, which was first worked on by ESRO.

    ESA50 Logo large

    Later activities

    ESA collaborated with National Aeronautics Space Agency on the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE), the world’s first high-orbit telescope, which was launched in 1978 and operated successfully for 18 years.

    ESA Infrared Space Observatory.

    European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU)/National Aeronautics and Space Administration Solar Orbiter annotated.

    A number of successful Earth-orbit projects followed, and in 1986 ESA began Giotto, its first deep-space mission, to study the comets Halley and Grigg–Skjellerup. Hipparcos, a star-mapping mission, was launched in 1989 and in the 1990s SOHO, Ulysses and the Hubble Space Telescope were all jointly carried out with NASA. Later scientific missions in cooperation with NASA include the Cassini–Huygens space probe, to which ESA contributed by building the Titan landing module Huygens.

    ESA/Huygens Probe from Cassini landed on Titan.

    As the successor of ELDO, ESA has also constructed rockets for scientific and commercial payloads. Ariane 1, launched in 1979, carried mostly commercial payloads into orbit from 1984 onward. The next two versions of the Ariane rocket were intermediate stages in the development of a more advanced launch system, the Ariane 4, which operated between 1988 and 2003 and established ESA as the world leader in commercial space launches in the 1990s. Although the succeeding Ariane 5 experienced a failure on its first flight, it has since firmly established itself within the heavily competitive commercial space launch market with 82 successful launches until 2018. The successor launch vehicle of Ariane 5, the Ariane 6, is under development and is envisioned to enter service in the 2020s.

    The beginning of the new millennium saw ESA become, along with agencies like National Aeronautics Space Agency, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Indian Space Research Organisation, the Canadian Space Agency(CA) and Roscosmos(RU), one of the major participants in scientific space research. Although ESA had relied on co-operation with NASA in previous decades, especially the 1990s, changed circumstances (such as tough legal restrictions on information sharing by the United States military) led to decisions to rely more on itself and on co-operation with Russia. A 2011 press issue thus stated:

    “Russia is ESA’s first partner in its efforts to ensure long-term access to space. There is a framework agreement between ESA and the government of the Russian Federation on cooperation and partnership in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes, and cooperation is already underway in two different areas of launcher activity that will bring benefits to both partners.”

    Notable ESA programmes include SMART-1, a probe testing cutting-edge space propulsion technology, the Mars Express and Venus Express missions, as well as the development of the Ariane 5 rocket and its role in the ISS partnership. ESA maintains its scientific and research projects mainly for astronomy-space missions such as Corot, launched on 27 December 2006, a milestone in the search for exoplanets.

    On 21 January 2019, ArianeGroup and Arianespace announced a one-year contract with ESA to study and prepare for a mission to mine the Moon for lunar regolith.

    Mission

    The treaty establishing the European Space Agency reads:

    The purpose of the Agency shall be to provide for and to promote, for exclusively peaceful purposes, cooperation among European States in space research and technology and their space applications, with a view to their being used for scientific purposes and for operational space applications systems…

    ESA is responsible for setting a unified space and related industrial policy, recommending space objectives to the member states, and integrating national programs like satellite development, into the European program as much as possible.

    Jean-Jacques Dordain – ESA’s Director General (2003–2015) – outlined the European Space Agency’s mission in a 2003 interview:

    “Today space activities have pursued the benefit of citizens, and citizens are asking for a better quality of life on Earth. They want greater security and economic wealth, but they also want to pursue their dreams, to increase their knowledge, and they want younger people to be attracted to the pursuit of science and technology. I think that space can do all of this: it can produce a higher quality of life, better security, more economic wealth, and also fulfill our citizens’ dreams and thirst for knowledge, and attract the young generation. This is the reason space exploration is an integral part of overall space activities. It has always been so, and it will be even more important in the future.”

    Activities

    According to the ESA website, the activities are:

    Observing the Earth
    Human Spaceflight
    Launchers
    Navigation
    Space Science
    Space Engineering & Technology
    Operations
    Telecommunications & Integrated Applications
    Preparing for the Future
    Space for Climate

    Programmes

    Copernicus Programme
    Cosmic Vision
    ExoMars
    FAST20XX
    Galileo
    Horizon 2000
    Living Planet Programme
    Mandatory

    Every member country must contribute to these programmes:

    Technology Development Element Programme
    Science Core Technology Programme
    General Study Programme
    European Component Initiative

    Optional

    Depending on their individual choices the countries can contribute to the following programmes, listed according to:

    Launchers
    Earth Observation
    Human Spaceflight and Exploration
    Telecommunications
    Navigation
    Space Situational Awareness
    Technology

    ESA_LAB@

    ESA has formed partnerships with universities. ESA_LAB@ refers to research laboratories at universities. Currently there are ESA_LAB@

    Technische Universität Darmstadt (DE)
    École des hautes études commerciales de Paris (HEC Paris) (FR)
    Université de recherche Paris Sciences et Lettres (FR)
    The University of Central Lancashire (UK)

    Membership and contribution to ESA

    By 2015, ESA was an intergovernmental organization of 22 member states. Member states participate to varying degrees in the mandatory (25% of total expenditures in 2008) and optional space programmes (75% of total expenditures in 2008). The 2008 budget amounted to €3.0 billion whilst the 2009 budget amounted to €3.6 billion. The total budget amounted to about €3.7 billion in 2010, €3.99 billion in 2011, €4.02 billion in 2012, €4.28 billion in 2013, €4.10 billion in 2014 and €4.33 billion in 2015. English is the main language within ESA. Additionally, official documents are also provided in German and documents regarding the Spacelab are also provided in Italian. If found appropriate, the agency may conduct its correspondence in any language of a member state.

    Non-full member states
    Slovenia
    Since 2016, Slovenia has been an associated member of the ESA.

    Latvia
    Latvia became the second current associated member on 30 June 2020, when the Association Agreement was signed by ESA Director Jan Wörner and the Minister of Education and Science of Latvia, Ilga Šuplinska in Riga. The Saeima ratified it on July 27. Previously associated members were Austria, Norway and Finland, all of which later joined ESA as full members.

    Canada
    Since 1 January 1979, Canada has had the special status of a Cooperating State within ESA. By virtue of this accord, The Canadian Space Agency [Agence spatiale canadienne, ASC] (CA) takes part in ESA’s deliberative bodies and decision-making and also in ESA’s programmes and activities. Canadian firms can bid for and receive contracts to work on programmes. The accord has a provision ensuring a fair industrial return to Canada. The most recent Cooperation Agreement was signed on 15 December 2010 with a term extending to 2020. For 2014, Canada’s annual assessed contribution to the ESA general budget was €6,059,449 (CAD$8,559,050). For 2017, Canada has increased its annual contribution to €21,600,000 (CAD$30,000,000).

    Enlargement

    After the decision of the ESA Council of 21/22 March 2001, the procedure for accession of the European states was detailed as described the document titled The Plan for European Co-operating States (PECS). Nations that want to become a full member of ESA do so in 3 stages. First a Cooperation Agreement is signed between the country and ESA. In this stage, the country has very limited financial responsibilities. If a country wants to co-operate more fully with ESA, it signs a European Cooperating State (ECS) Agreement. The ECS Agreement makes companies based in the country eligible for participation in ESA procurements. The country can also participate in all ESA programmes, except for the Basic Technology Research Programme. While the financial contribution of the country concerned increases, it is still much lower than that of a full member state. The agreement is normally followed by a Plan For European Cooperating State (or PECS Charter). This is a 5-year programme of basic research and development activities aimed at improving the nation’s space industry capacity. At the end of the 5-year period, the country can either begin negotiations to become a full member state or an associated state or sign a new PECS Charter.

    During the Ministerial Meeting in December 2014, ESA ministers approved a resolution calling for discussions to begin with Israel, Australia and South Africa on future association agreements. The ministers noted that “concrete cooperation is at an advanced stage” with these nations and that “prospects for mutual benefits are existing”.

    A separate space exploration strategy resolution calls for further co-operation with the United States, Russia and China on “LEO” exploration, including a continuation of ISS cooperation and the development of a robust plan for the coordinated use of space transportation vehicles and systems for exploration purposes, participation in robotic missions for the exploration of the Moon, the robotic exploration of Mars, leading to a broad Mars Sample Return mission in which Europe should be involved as a full partner, and human missions beyond LEO in the longer term.”

    Relationship with the European Union

    The political perspective of the European Union (EU) was to make ESA an agency of the EU by 2014, although this date was not met. The EU member states provide most of ESA’s funding, and they are all either full ESA members or observers.

    History

    At the time ESA was formed, its main goals did not encompass human space flight; rather it considered itself to be primarily a scientific research organisation for uncrewed space exploration in contrast to its American and Soviet counterparts. It is therefore not surprising that the first non-Soviet European in space was not an ESA astronaut on a European space craft; it was Czechoslovak Vladimír Remek who in 1978 became the first non-Soviet or American in space (the first man in space being Yuri Gagarin of the Soviet Union) – on a Soviet Soyuz spacecraft, followed by the Pole Mirosław Hermaszewski and East German Sigmund Jähn in the same year. This Soviet co-operation programme, known as Intercosmos, primarily involved the participation of Eastern bloc countries. In 1982, however, Jean-Loup Chrétien became the first non-Communist Bloc astronaut on a flight to the Soviet Salyut 7 space station.

    Because Chrétien did not officially fly into space as an ESA astronaut, but rather as a member of the French CNES astronaut corps, the German Ulf Merbold is considered the first ESA astronaut to fly into space. He participated in the STS-9 Space Shuttle mission that included the first use of the European-built Spacelab in 1983. STS-9 marked the beginning of an extensive ESA/NASA joint partnership that included dozens of space flights of ESA astronauts in the following years. Some of these missions with Spacelab were fully funded and organizationally and scientifically controlled by ESA (such as two missions by Germany and one by Japan) with European astronauts as full crew members rather than guests on board. Beside paying for Spacelab flights and seats on the shuttles, ESA continued its human space flight co-operation with the Soviet Union and later Russia, including numerous visits to Mir.

    During the latter half of the 1980s, European human space flights changed from being the exception to routine and therefore, in 1990, the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany was established. It selects and trains prospective astronauts and is responsible for the co-ordination with international partners, especially with regard to the International Space Station. As of 2006, the ESA astronaut corps officially included twelve members, including nationals from most large European countries except the United Kingdom.

    In the summer of 2008, ESA started to recruit new astronauts so that final selection would be due in spring 2009. Almost 10,000 people registered as astronaut candidates before registration ended in June 2008. 8,413 fulfilled the initial application criteria. Of the applicants, 918 were chosen to take part in the first stage of psychological testing, which narrowed down the field to 192. After two-stage psychological tests and medical evaluation in early 2009, as well as formal interviews, six new members of the European Astronaut Corps were selected – five men and one woman.

    Cooperation with other countries and organizations

    ESA has signed co-operation agreements with the following states that currently neither plan to integrate as tightly with ESA institutions as Canada, nor envision future membership of ESA: Argentina, Brazil, China, India (for the Chandrayan mission), Russia and Turkey.

    Additionally, ESA has joint projects with the European Union, NASA of the United States and is participating in the International Space Station together with the United States (NASA), Russia and Japan (JAXA).

    European Union
    ESA and EU member states
    ESA-only members
    EU-only members

    ESA is not an agency or body of the European Union (EU), and has non-EU countries (Norway, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom) as members. There are however ties between the two, with various agreements in place and being worked on, to define the legal status of ESA with regard to the EU.

    There are common goals between ESA and the EU. ESA has an EU liaison office in Brussels. On certain projects, the EU and ESA co-operate, such as the upcoming Galileo satellite navigation system. Space policy has since December 2009 been an area for voting in the European Council. Under the European Space Policy of 2007, the EU, ESA and its Member States committed themselves to increasing co-ordination of their activities and programmes and to organising their respective roles relating to space.

    The Lisbon Treaty of 2009 reinforces the case for space in Europe and strengthens the role of ESA as an R&D space agency. Article 189 of the Treaty gives the EU a mandate to elaborate a European space policy and take related measures, and provides that the EU should establish appropriate relations with ESA.

    Former Italian astronaut Umberto Guidoni, during his tenure as a Member of the European Parliament from 2004 to 2009, stressed the importance of the European Union as a driving force for space exploration, “…since other players are coming up such as India and China it is becoming ever more important that Europeans can have an independent access to space. We have to invest more into space research and technology in order to have an industry capable of competing with other international players.”

    The first EU-ESA International Conference on Human Space Exploration took place in Prague on 22 and 23 October 2009. A road map which would lead to a common vision and strategic planning in the area of space exploration was discussed. Ministers from all 29 EU and ESA members as well as members of parliament were in attendance.

    National space organisations of member states:

    The Centre National d’Études Spatiales(FR) (CNES) (National Centre for Space Study) is the French government space agency (administratively, a “public establishment of industrial and commercial character”). Its headquarters are in central Paris. CNES is the main participant on the Ariane project. Indeed, CNES designed and tested all Ariane family rockets (mainly from its centre in Évry near Paris)
    The UK Space Agency is a partnership of the UK government departments which are active in space. Through the UK Space Agency, the partners provide delegates to represent the UK on the various ESA governing bodies. Each partner funds its own programme.
    The Italian Space Agency A.S.I. – Agenzia Spaziale Italiana was founded in 1988 to promote, co-ordinate and conduct space activities in Italy. Operating under the Ministry of the Universities and of Scientific and Technological Research, the agency cooperates with numerous entities active in space technology and with the president of the Council of Ministers. Internationally, the ASI provides Italy’s delegation to the Council of the European Space Agency and to its subordinate bodies.
    The German Aerospace Center (DLR)[Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e. V.] is the national research centre for aviation and space flight of the Federal Republic of Germany and of other member states in the Helmholtz Association. Its extensive research and development projects are included in national and international cooperative programmes. In addition to its research projects, the centre is the assigned space agency of Germany bestowing headquarters of German space flight activities and its associates.
    The Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial (INTA)(ES) (National Institute for Aerospace Technique) is a Public Research Organization specialised in aerospace research and technology development in Spain. Among other functions, it serves as a platform for space research and acts as a significant testing facility for the aeronautic and space sector in the country.

    National Aeronautics Space Agency

    ESA has a long history of collaboration with NASA. Since ESA’s astronaut corps was formed, the Space Shuttle has been the primary launch vehicle used by ESA’s astronauts to get into space through partnership programmes with NASA. In the 1980s and 1990s, the Spacelab programme was an ESA-NASA joint research programme that had ESA develop and manufacture orbital labs for the Space Shuttle for several flights on which ESA participate with astronauts in experiments.

    In robotic science mission and exploration missions, NASA has been ESA’s main partner. Cassini–Huygens was a joint NASA-ESA mission, along with the Infrared Space Observatory, INTEGRAL, SOHO, and others.

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration/European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU)/ASI Italian Space Agency [Agenzia Spaziale Italiana](IT) Cassini Spacecraft.

    European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU) Integral spacecraft

    European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne] [Europäische Weltraumorganisation] (EU)/National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationSOHO satellite. Launched in 1995.

    Also, the Hubble Space Telescope is a joint project of NASA and ESA.

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration/European Space Agency[La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne] [Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU) Hubble Space Telescope

    ESA-NASA joint projects include the James Webb Space Telescope and the proposed Laser Interferometer Space Antenna.

    National Aeronautics Space Agency/European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne] [Europäische Weltraumorganisation]Canadian Space Agency [Agence Spatiale Canadienne](CA) James Webb Space Telescope annotated. Scheduled for launch in December 2021.

    Gravity is talking. Lisa will listen. Dialogos of Eide.

    The European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU)/National Aeronautics and Space Administration eLISA space based, the future of gravitational wave research.

    NASA has committed to provide support to ESA’s proposed MarcoPolo-R mission to return an asteroid sample to Earth for further analysis. NASA and ESA will also likely join together for a Mars Sample Return Mission. In October 2020 the ESA entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with NASA to work together on the Artemis program, which will provide an orbiting lunar gateway and also accomplish the first manned lunar landing in 50 years, whose team will include the first woman on the Moon.

    NASA ARTEMIS spacecraft depiction.

    Cooperation with other space agencies

    Since China has started to invest more money into space activities, the Chinese Space Agency[中国国家航天局] (CN) has sought international partnerships. ESA is, beside, The Russian Federal Space Agency Государственная корпорация по космической деятельности «Роскосмос»](RU) one of its most important partners. Two space agencies cooperated in the development of the Double Star Mission. In 2017, ESA sent two astronauts to China for two weeks sea survival training with Chinese astronauts in Yantai, Shandong.

    ESA entered into a major joint venture with Russia in the form of the CSTS, the preparation of French Guiana spaceport for launches of Soyuz-2 rockets and other projects. With India, ESA agreed to send instruments into space aboard the ISRO’s Chandrayaan-1 in 2008. ESA is also co-operating with Japan, the most notable current project in collaboration with JAXA is the BepiColombo mission to Mercury.

    European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU)/Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency [国立研究開発法人宇宙航空研究開発機構](JP) Bepicolumbo in flight illustration. Artist’s impression of BepiColombo – ESA’s first mission to Mercury. ESA’s Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) will be operated from ESOC Germany.

    ESA’s Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) will be operated from ESOC Germany.

    Speaking to reporters at an air show near Moscow in August 2011, ESA head Jean-Jacques Dordain said ESA and Russia’s Roskosmos space agency would “carry out the first flight to Mars together.”

     
  • richardmitnick 10:23 am on August 25, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "NASA/ESA/CSA Webb Detects Carbon Dioxide in Exoplanet Atmosphere", , , , , , The exoplanet WASP-39 b, The NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope   

    From The NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope: “NASA/ESA/CSA Webb Detects Carbon Dioxide in Exoplanet Atmosphere” 

    NASA Webb Header

    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

    8.25.22
    MEDIA CONTACT:

    Margaret W. Carruthers
    Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Maryland

    Christine Pulliam
    Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Maryland

    SCIENCE: JWST Transiting Exoplanet Community Early Release Science Team

    Images:

    Exoplanet WASP-39 b and Its Star (Illustration)
    1
    About This Image
    This illustration shows what exoplanet WASP-39 b could look like, based on current understanding of the planet.

    WASP-39 b is a hot, puffy gas giant with a mass 0.28 times Jupiter (0.94 times Saturn) and a diameter 1.3 times greater than Jupiter, orbiting just 0.0486 astronomical units (4,500,000 miles) from its star. The star, WASP-39, is fractionally smaller and less massive than the Sun. Because it is so close to its star, WASP-39 b is very hot and is likely to be tidally locked, with one side facing the star at all times.

    Data collected by Webb’s Near-Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec) [below] show unambiguous evidence for carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, while previous observations from NASA’s Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes, as well as other telescopes, indicate the presence of water vapor, sodium, and potassium. The planet probably has clouds and some form of weather, but it may not have atmospheric bands like those of Jupiter and Saturn.

    This illustration is based on indirect transit observations from Webb as well as other space and ground-based telescopes. Webb has not captured a direct image of this planet.

    Credits: ARTWORK: NASA, ESA, CSA, Joseph Olmsted (STScI).

    Exoplanet WASP-39 b (NIRSpec Transmission Spectrum)
    3
    About This Image
    A transmission spectrum of the hot gas giant exoplanet WASP-39 b captured by Webb’s Near-Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec) on July 10, 2022, reveals the first clear evidence for carbon dioxide in a planet outside the solar system. This is also the first detailed exoplanet transmission spectrum ever captured that covers wavelengths between 3 and 5.5 microns.

    A transmission spectrum is made by comparing starlight filtered through a planet’s atmosphere as it moves in front of the star, to the unfiltered starlight detected when the planet is beside the star. Each of the 95 data points (white circles) on this graph represents the amount of a specific wavelength of light that is blocked by the planet and absorbed by its atmosphere. Wavelengths that are preferentially absorbed by the atmosphere appear as peaks in the transmission spectrum. The peak centered around 4.3 microns represents the light absorbed by carbon dioxide.

    The gray lines extending above and below each data point are error bars that show the uncertainty of each measurement, or the reasonable range of actual possible values. For a single observation, the error on these measurements is extremely small.

    The blue line is a best-fit model that takes into account the data, the known properties of WASP-39 b and its star (e.g., size, mass, temperature), and assumed characteristics of the atmosphere. Researchers can vary the parameters in the model – changing unknown characteristics like cloud height in the atmosphere and abundances of various gases – to get a better fit and further understand what the atmosphere is really like. The model shown here assumes that the planet is made primarily of hydrogen and helium, with small amounts of water and carbon dioxide, and a thin veil of clouds.

    The observation was made using the NIRSpec PRISM bright object time-series mode, which involves using a prism to spread out light from a single bright object (like the star WASP-39) and measuring the brightness of each wavelength at set intervals of time.

    WASP-39 b is a hot gas giant exoplanet that orbits a Sun-like star roughly 700 light-years away, in the constellation Virgo. The planet orbits extremely close to its star (less than 1/20th the distance between Earth and the Sun) and completes one orbit in just over 4 Earth-days. The planet’s discovery, based on ground-based observations, was announced in 2011. The star, WASP-39, is roughly the same size, mass, temperature, and color as the Sun.

    The background illustration of WASP-39 b and its star is based on current understanding of the planet from Webb spectroscopy and previous ground- and space-based observations. Webb has not captured a direct image of the planet or its atmosphere.

    Credits: ILLUSTRATION: NASA, ESA, CSA, Leah Hustak (STScI), Joseph Olmsted (STScI).

    Exoplanet WASP-39 b (NIRSpec Transit Light Curves)
    3
    About This Image
    A series of light curves from Webb’s Near-Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec) shows the change in brightness of three different wavelengths (colors) of light from the WASP-39 star system over time as the planet transited the star on July 10, 2022. A transit occurs when an orbiting planet moves between the star and the telescope, blocking some of the light from the star.

    This observation was made using the NIRSpec PRISM bright object time-series mode, which involves using a prism to spread out light from a single bright object (like the star WASP-39) and measure the brightness of each wavelength at set intervals of time.

    To capture these data, Webb stared at the WASP-39 star system for more than eight hours, beginning about three hours before the transit and ending about two hours after the transit was complete. The transit itself lasted about three hours. Each curve shown here includes a total of 500 individual brightness measurements – about one per minute.

    Although all colors are blocked to some extent by the planet, some colors are blocked more than others. This occurs because each gas in the atmosphere absorbs different amounts of specific wavelengths. As a result, each color has a slightly different light curve. During the transit of WASP-39 b, light with a wavelength of 4.3 microns is not as bright as 3.0-micron or 4.7-micron light because it is absorbed by carbon dioxide.

    WASP-39 b is a hot gas giant exoplanet that orbits a Sun-like star roughly 700 light-years away, in the constellation Virgo. The planet orbits extremely close to its star (less than 1/20th the distance between Earth and the Sun) and completes one orbit in just over 4 Earth-days. The star, WASP-39, is roughly the same size, mass, temperature, and color as the Sun. The planet’s discovery, from ground-based observations, was announced in 2011.

    The background illustration of WASP-39 b and its star is based on current understanding of the planet from Webb spectroscopy and previous ground- and space-based observations. Webb has not captured a direct image of the planet or its atmosphere.

    Credits: ILLUSTRATION: NASA, ESA, CSA, Leah Hustak (STScI), Joseph Olmsted (STScI).

    _________________________________________________
    Summary

    Webb ushers in a new era of exoplanet science with the first unequivocal detection of carbon dioxide in a planetary atmosphere outside our solar system.

    After years of preparation and anticipation, exoplanet researchers are ecstatic. NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has captured an astonishingly detailed rainbow of near-infrared starlight filtered through the atmosphere of a hot gas giant 700 light-years away. The transmission spectrum of exoplanet WASP-39 b, based on a single set of measurements made using Webb’s Near-Infrared Spectrograph and analyzed by dozens of scientists, represents a hat trick of firsts: Webb’s first official scientific observation of an exoplanet; the first detailed exoplanet spectrum covering this range of near-infrared colors; and the first indisputable evidence for carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of a planet orbiting a distant star. The results are indicative of Webb’s ability to spot key molecules like carbon dioxide in a wide variety of exoplanets – including smaller, cooler, rocky planets – providing insights into the composition, formation, and evolution of planets across the galaxy.
    _________________________________________________
    NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has captured the first clear evidence for carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of a planet outside the solar system. This observation of a gas giant planet orbiting a Sun-like star 700 light-years away provides important insights into the composition and formation of the planet. The finding, which is accepted for publication in Nature [below], offers evidence that in the future Webb may be able to detect and measure carbon dioxide in the thinner atmospheres of smaller, rocky planets.

    WASP-39 b is a hot gas giant with a mass roughly one-quarter that of Jupiter (about the same as Saturn) and a diameter 1.3 times greater than Jupiter. Its extreme puffiness is related in part to its high temperature (about 1,600 degrees Fahrenheit or 900 degrees Celsius). Unlike the cooler, more compact gas giants in our solar system, WASP-39 b orbits very close to its star – only about one-eighth the distance between the Sun and Mercury – completing one circuit in just over four Earth-days. The planet’s discovery, reported in 2011, was made based on ground-based detections of the subtle, periodic dimming of light from its host star as the planet transits, or passes in front of the star.

    Previous observations from other telescopes, including NASA’s Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes, revealed the presence of water vapor, sodium, and potassium in the planet’s atmosphere.

    Webb’s unmatched infrared sensitivity has now confirmed the presence of carbon dioxide on this planet as well.

    Filtered Starlight

    Transiting planets like WASP-39 b, whose orbits we observe edge-on rather than from above, can provide researchers with ideal opportunities to probe planetary atmospheres. During a transit, some of the starlight is eclipsed by the planet completely (causing the overall dimming) and some is transmitted through the planet’s atmosphere.

    Because different gases absorb different combinations of colors, researchers can analyze small differences in brightness of the transmitted light across a spectrum of wavelengths to determine exactly what an atmosphere is made of. With its combination of inflated atmosphere and frequent transits, WASP-39 b is an ideal target for transmission spectroscopy.

    First Clear Detection of Carbon Dioxide

    The research team used Webb’s Near-Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec) [below] for its observations of WASP-39 b. In the resulting spectrum of the exoplanet’s atmosphere, a small hill between 4.1 and 4.6 microns presents the first clear, detailed evidence for carbon dioxide ever detected in a planet outside the solar system.

    “As soon as the data appeared on my screen, the whopping carbon dioxide feature grabbed me,” said Zafar Rustamkulov, a graduate student at Johns Hopkins University and member of the JWST Transiting Exoplanet Community Early Release Science team, which undertook this investigation. “It was a special moment, crossing an important threshold in exoplanet sciences.”

    No observatory has ever measured such subtle differences in brightness of so many individual colors across the 3 to 5.5-micron range in an exoplanet transmission spectrum before. Access to this part of the spectrum is crucial for measuring abundances of gases like water and methane, as well as carbon dioxide, which are thought to exist in many different types
    of exoplanets.

    “Detecting such a clear signal of carbon dioxide on WASP-39 b bodes well for the detection of atmospheres on smaller, terrestrial-sized planets,” said Natalie Batalha of the University of California-Santa Cruz, who leads the team.

    Understanding the composition of a planet’s atmosphere is important because it tells us something about the origin of the planet and how it evolved. “Carbon dioxide molecules are sensitive tracers of the story of planet formation,” said Mike Line of Arizona State University, another member of this research team. “By measuring this carbon dioxide feature, we can determine how much solid versus how much gaseous material was used to form this gas giant planet. In the coming decade, JWST will make this measurement for a variety of planets, providing insight into the details of how planets form and the uniqueness of our own solar system.”

    Early Release Science

    This NIRSpec prism observation of WASP-39 b is just one part of a larger investigation that includes observations of the planet using multiple Webb instruments, as well as observations of two other transiting planets. The investigation, which is part of the Early Release Science program, was designed to provide the exoplanet research community with robust Webb data as soon as possible.

    “The goal is to analyze the Early Release Science observations quickly and develop open-source tools for the science community to use,” explained Vivien Parmentier, a co-investigator from Oxford University. “This enables contributions from all over the world and ensures that the best possible science will come out of the coming decades of observations.”

    Natasha Batalha, co-author on the paper from NASA’s Ames Research Center, adds that “NASA’s open science guiding principles are centered in our Early Release Science work, supporting an inclusive, transparent, and collaborative scientific process.”

    Science paper:
    Nature

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    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.

    ESA50 Logo large

    Canadian Space Agency

     
  • richardmitnick 8:11 am on August 13, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "UFOs – Ultra-red Flattened Objects – revealed by Webb", , , The NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope   

    From The NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope Via “EarthSky” : “UFOs – Ultra-red Flattened Objects – revealed by Webb” 

    NASA Webb Header

    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

    1

    “EarthSky”

    8.8.22
    Kelly Kizer Whitt

    1
    See one of the red UFOs – Ultra-red Flattened Objects – that appears in the Webb image (right), but not the Hubble image (left)? Webb is finding galaxies that Hubble missed. Image via Erica Nelson, et al.

    UFOs in Webb’s range

    The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). It can see farther away in space, and so farther back in time. In operation only since this summer, it’s already discovering things Hubble couldn’t see, including some massive, deep-red, disk-shaped galaxies. Astronomers call them HST-dark galaxies. In a paper published on arXiv [below] on August 2, 2022 (but not yet peer-reviewed), a team of scientists are also calling these galaxies Ultra-red Flattened Objects, or UFOs.

    And – to Webb’s “eye” at least – they do have the classic, sci-fi look of a flying saucer!

    Deep-red galaxies not visible to Hubble

    These deep-red, disk-shaped galaxies have a redshift (or z) between 2 and 6. That value means we’re seeing them as they were in the universe 10.3 to 12.7 billion years ago. So they’re definitely not our next-door neighbors. But they are within the range of what Hubble could image, if it could see their red light.

    Webb can see these “HST-dark” galaxies because it observes in infrared light, which is the part of the spectrum where these galaxies shine. The team that published the new study, led by Erica Nelson of the University of Colorado, Boulder, found 29 of these HST-dark galaxies. The galaxies have a significant amount of dust, which makes their light redder and hides them from Hubble’s vision. But Webb’s infrared sensors can see through that dust, making the UFOs pop into view.

    3
    The full sample. Credit: Erica Nelson, Wren Suess, Rachel Bezanson, Sedona Price, @gbrammer and their co-authors.

    Webb’s galactic discoveries

    Compare the UFOs to the record-breaking distant galaxies that Webb has spied, which have redshifts of 11-20. That would be when the universe was between 400 million and 150 million years old. The UFOs, with a redshift of 2-6, existed when the universe was between 3 1/2 and 1 billion years old (out of its current 13.7 billion years of age). So these galaxies aren’t real close to us in time, but they are still closer than the record-breaking discoveries.

    UFOs at “cosmic noon”

    The astronomers refer to the time period that UFOs thrived as “cosmic noon”. The early ages of the universe when galaxies began to grow was the cosmic dawn. Then cosmic noon arrived, about 3 billion years after the Big Bang. Astronomers think most of the universe’s stars and black holes formed around the time of cosmic noon. And now astronomers say that these UFOs, or dusty star-forming galaxies undergoing extreme starbursts, dominate the total star formation rate budget of the universe during cosmic noon. So, as the paper said, since we have not yet been able to study what we could not see:

    ” … we do not yet fully understand the growth of the most massive galaxies at cosmic noon.”

    From flattened to bulging

    The scientists also said that these massive, dusty UFOs may be the progenitors of today’s large elliptical galaxies. They’re surprised by this finding, because astronomers believed that the bulging elliptical galaxies we see now would have already had that bulging shape at an early age. But as the paper said:

    “Perhaps the most noteworthy result stems from the flattened shapes of these HST-dark galaxies. These massive, star-forming galaxies are the likely progenitors of today’s massive galaxies, which tend to be bulge/spheroid-dominated … The expectation may have been that the stellar bodies of these objects would already host significant bulges. This, however, is not what we observe in this sample.”

    4
    Messier 87 is a large elliptical galaxy famous for the black hole at its center.

    The Hubble Space Telescope took this image in 2009. Messier 87 lies about 55 million light-years away. It may have begun life as a UFO, or Ultra-red Flattened Object. Image via Wikipedia.

    Webb is expanding our knowledge

    The discovery of these UFOs is helping astronomers get a better picture of the universe at a more recent age. As the paper noted:

    “The stellar masses, sizes, and morphologies of the sample suggest that some could be progenitors of lenticular or fast-rotating galaxies in the local Universe. The existence of this population suggests that our previous censuses of the universe may have missed massive, dusty edge-on disks, in addition to dust-obscured starbursts.”

    The paper concluded:

    “This sample highlights the fact that the JWST discovery extends studies of galaxy stellar structures to later cosmic epochs during which we thought we had a reasonable census of the universe already.”

    Science paper:
    arXiv

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    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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  • richardmitnick 10:02 am on August 4, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Edinburgh astronomers find most distant galaxy", , , , , , The galaxy known as CEERS-93316 existed just 235 million years after the Big Bang., The NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope,   

    From The University of Edinburgh (SCT) : “Edinburgh astronomers find most distant galaxy” 

    From The University of Edinburgh (SCT)

    Early data from Webb has enabled Edinburgh astronomers to locate the most distant galaxy ever found.

    1
    A colour image of CEERS-93316, a galaxy discovered 35 billion light-years from Earth.

    Researchers say observations using the £10 billion James Webb Space Telescope – which began operating in June 2022 – have revealed a galaxy 35 billion light-years from Earth.

    The NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope

    The findings suggest the galaxy, known as CEERS-93316, existed just 235 million years after the Big Bang – the event 13.8 billion years ago that formed the first stars and galaxies in the Universe.

    Cosmic history

    The James Webb Space Telescope – NASA’s largest and most powerful space telescope – was launched in December 2021 and is operating around one million miles from Earth.

    It is far more sensitive than its predecessor – the Hubble Space Telescope, which began operating in 1990 – and enables researchers to directly observe parts of space that have never been seen before.

    Distant worlds

    Before data from the new telescope became available, the most distant galaxy ever identified was GN-z11, which is around 32 billion light-years from Earth.

    The team has submitted their study for publication in MNRAS [below].

    The research also involved scientists from the University of Manchester, Sorbonne Université, France, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and Sonoma State University, US.

    Undergraduate physics students Sophie Jewell and Clara Pollock created a colour image of the newly discovered galaxy while undertaking summer projects in the University’s Institute for Astronomy.

    Science paper:

    MNRAS

    See the full article here.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition


    The The University of Edinburgh (SCT) , founded in 1582, is the sixth oldest university in the United Kingdom and English-speaking world and one of Scotland’s ancient universities. The university has five main campuses in the city of Edinburgh, which include many buildings of historical and architectural significance such as those in Old Town. The university played an important role in Edinburgh becoming a chief intellectual centre during the Scottish Enlightenment, contributing to the city being nicknamed the “Athens of the North”.

    The University of Edinburgh is a member of a number of prestigious academic organizations, including The Russell Group, The Coimbra Group, The Universitas 21, and The League of European Research Universities, a consortium of 23 leading research universities in Europe. It has the third largest endowment of any university in the United Kingdom, after The University of Cambridge (UK) and The University of Oxford. In 2019-20, the university has a consolidated annual income of £1,125.3 million, of which £296.1 million was from research grants and contracts.
    The alumni of the university include some of the major figures of modern history, including three signatories of the United States Declaration of Independence and nine heads of state and government (including three Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom). As of 2020, Edinburgh’s alumni, faculty members and researchers include 19 Nobel laureates; three Turing Award laureates; an Abel Prize winner and Fields Medalist; two Pulitzer Prize winners; two currently sitting UK Supreme Court Justices; and several Olympic gold medalists. It continues to have links to the British Royal Family, having had the Duke of Edinburgh as its Chancellor from 1953 to 2010 and Princess Anne since 2011.

    Edinburgh receives approximately 60,000 applications every year, making it the second most popular university in the United Kingdom by volume of applications. It has the 4th-highest average UCAS entry tariff in Scotland, and 8th overall in the United Kingdom.

    Founding

    Founded by the Edinburgh Town Council, the university began life as a college of law using part of a legacy left by a graduate of The University of St Andrews, Bishop Robert Reid of St Magnus Cathedral, Orkney. Through efforts by the council and ministers of the city, such as John Knox’s successor James Lawson, the institution broadened in scope and became formally established as a college by a Royal Charter, granted by King James VI on 14 April 1582. This was unprecedented in newly Presbyterian Scotland, as older universities in Scotland had been created through Papal bulls. Established as the “Tounis College”, it opened its doors to students in October 1583. Instruction began under the charge of another St Andrews graduate, theologian Robert Rollock. It was the fourth Scottish university in a period when the richer and much more populous England had only two. The school was renamed King James’s College in 1617. By the 18th century, the university was a leading centre of the Scottish Enlightenment.

    2000 to present

    The Edinburgh Cowgate Fire of December 2002 destroyed a number of university buildings, including some 3,000 m^2 (30,000 sq ft.) of the School of Informatics at 80 South Bridge. This was replaced with the Informatics Forum on the central campus, completed in July 2008.

    The Edinburgh Cancer Research Centre (ECRC) was opened in 2002 by The Princess Royal on the Western General Hospital site. In 2007, the MRC Human Genetics Unit formed a partnership with the Centre for Genomic and Experimental Medicine and the Edinburgh Cancer Research Centre to create the Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine (IGMM).

    The Euan MacDonald Centre was established in 2007 as a research centre for motor neuron disease (MND). The centre was part funded by a donation from Scottish entrepreneur Euan MacDonald and his father Donald.

    On 1 August 2011, the Edinburgh College of Art (founded in 1760) merged with the university’s School of Arts, Culture and Environment.

    The Scottish Centre for Regenerative Medicine, a stem cell research centre dedicated to the development of regenerative treatments, was opened by the Anne, Princess Royal on 28 May 2012. It is home to biologists and clinical academics from the MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine (CRM), and applied scientists working with the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service and Roslin Cells. On 25 August 2014, the centre reported on the first working organ, a thymus, grown from scratch inside an animal.

    In 2014, the Zhejiang University-University of Edinburgh Institute was founded as a joint institute offering degrees in biomedical sciences, taught in English. The campus, located in Haining, Zhejiang Province, China, opened on 16 August 2016.

    Beginning in 2015, The University of Edinburgh maintains a Wikimedian in Residence.

    In 2018, The University of Edinburgh was a signatory in the landmark £1.3bn Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal, with the UK and Scottish governments, six local authorities and all universities and colleges in the region. The University committed to delivering a range of economic benefits to the region through the Data-Driven Innovation initiative. In conjunction with Heriot-Watt University (SCT), the initiative created four innovation hubs – the Bayes Centre; Usher Institute; Edinburgh Futures Institute; Easter Bush Campus; and one based at Heriot-Watt, the National Robotarium. The deal also included creation of the Edinburgh International Data Facility, which performs high-speed data processing in a secure environment.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:38 am on August 2, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Webb Captures Stellar Gymnastics in the Cartwheel Galaxy", , The NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope   

    From The NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope: “Webb Captures Stellar Gymnastics in the Cartwheel Galaxy” 

    NASA Webb Header

    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

    8.2.22
    MEDIA CONTACT:

    Matthew Brown
    Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Maryland

    Christine Pulliam
    Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Maryland

    Cartwheel Galaxy (NIRCam and MIRI Composite Compass Image)
    1
    About This Image

    This image of the Cartwheel and its companion galaxies is a composite from Webb’s Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam) [below] and Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) [below], which reveals details that are difficult to see in the individual images alone.

    This galaxy formed as the result of a high-speed collision that occurred about 400 million years ago. The Cartwheel is composed of two rings, a bright inner ring and a colorful outer ring. Both rings expand outward from the center of the collision like shockwaves.

    However, despite the impact, much of the character of the large, spiral galaxy that existed before the collision remains, including its rotating arms. This leads to the “spokes” that inspired the name of the Cartwheel Galaxy, which are the bright red streaks seen between the inner and outer rings. These brilliant red hues, located not only throughout the Cartwheel, but also the companion spiral galaxy at the top left, are caused by glowing, hydrocarbon-rich dust.

    In this near- and mid-infrared composite image, MIRI data are colored red while NIRCam data are colored blue, orange, and yellow. Amidst the red swirls of dust, there are many individual blue dots, which represent individual stars or pockets of star formation. NIRCam also defines the difference between the older star populations and dense dust in the core and the younger star populations outside of it.

    Webb’s observations capture the Cartwheel in a very transitory stage. The form that the Cartwheel Galaxy will eventually take, given these two competing forces, is still a mystery. However, this snapshot provides perspective on what happened to the galaxy in the past and what it will do in the future.

    NIRCam was built by a team at the University of Arizona and Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Technology Center.

    MIRI was contributed by ESA and NASA, with the instrument designed and built by a consortium of nationally funded European Institutes (The MIRI European Consortium) in partnership with JPL and the University of Arizona.
    Credits:

    IMAGE: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, Webb ERO Production Team
    _______________________________________________________________
    Summary
    Webb’s Instruments Reveal New Details About Star Formation

    The Cartwheel Galaxy, a rare ring galaxy once shrouded in dust and mystery, has been unveiled by the imaging capabilities of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope.

    The galaxy, which formed as a result of a collision between a large spiral galaxy and another smaller galaxy, not only retained a lot of its spiral character, but has also experienced massive changes throughout its structure.

    Webb’s high-precision instruments resolved individual stars and star-forming regions within the Cartwheel, and revealed the behavior of the black hole within its galactic center. These new details provide a renewed understanding of a galaxy in the midst of a slow transformation.
    _______________________________________________________________
    NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has peered into the chaos of the Cartwheel Galaxy, revealing new details about star formation and the galaxy’s central black hole. Webb’s powerful infrared gaze produced this detailed image of the Cartwheel and two smaller companion galaxies against a backdrop of many other galaxies. This image provides a new view of how the Cartwheel Galaxy has changed over billions of years.

    The Cartwheel Galaxy, located about 500 million light-years away in the Sculptor constellation, is a rare sight. Its appearance, much like that of the wheel of a wagon, is the result of an intense event – a high-speed collision between a large spiral galaxy and a smaller galaxy not visible in this image. Collisions of galactic proportions cause a cascade of different, smaller events between the galaxies involved; the Cartwheel is no exception.

    The collision most notably affected the galaxy’s shape and structure. The Cartwheel Galaxy sports two rings — a bright inner ring and a surrounding, colorful ring. These two rings expand outwards from the center of the collision, like ripples in a pond after a stone is tossed into it. Because of these distinctive features, astronomers call this a “ring galaxy,” a structure less common than spiral galaxies like our Milky Way.

    The bright core contains a tremendous amount of hot dust with the brightest areas being the home to gigantic young star clusters. On the other hand, the outer ring, which has expanded for about 440 million years, is dominated by star formation and supernovas. As this ring expands, it plows into surrounding gas and triggers star formation.

    Other telescopes, including the Hubble Space Telescope, have previously examined the Cartwheel. But the dramatic galaxy has been shrouded in mystery – perhaps literally, given the amount of dust that obscures the view. Webb, with its ability to detect infrared light, now uncovers new insights into the nature of the Cartwheel.

    The Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam), Webb’s primary imager, looks in the near-infrared range from 0.6 to 5 microns, seeing crucial wavelengths of light that can reveal even more stars than observed in visible light. This is because young stars, many of which are forming in the outer ring, are less obscured by the presence of dust when observed in infrared light. In this image, NIRCam data are colored blue, orange, and yellow. The galaxy displays many individual blue dots, which are individual stars or pockets of star formation. NIRCam also reveals the difference between the smooth distribution or shape of the older star populations and dense dust in the core compared to the clumpy shapes associated with the younger star populations outside of it.

    Learning finer details about the dust that inhabits the galaxy, however, requires Webb’s Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI). MIRI data are colored red in this composite image. It reveals regions within the Cartwheel Galaxy rich in hydrocarbons and other chemical compounds, as well as silicate dust, like much of the dust on Earth. These regions form a series of spiraling spokes that essentially form the galaxy’s skeleton. These spokes are evident in previous Hubble observations
    released in 2018, but they become much more prominent in this Webb image.

    Webb’s observations underscore that the Cartwheel is in a very transitory stage. The galaxy, which was presumably a normal spiral galaxy like the Milky Way before its collision, will continue to transform. While Webb gives us a snapshot of the current state of the Cartwheel, it also provides insight into what happened to this galaxy in the past and how it will evolve in the future.

    The James Webb Space Telescope is the world’s premier space science observatory. 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 is an international program led by NASA with its partners, ESA (European Space Agency) and the Canadian Space Agency.
    Credits: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    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.

    ESA50 Logo large

    Canadian Space Agency

     
  • richardmitnick 10:08 pm on July 27, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Webb Images of Jupiter and More Now Available In Commissioning Data", , The NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope   

    From The NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope: “Webb Images of Jupiter and More Now Available In Commissioning Data” 

    NASA Webb Header

    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

    July 14, 2022
    Alise Fisher

    On the heels of Tuesday’s release of the first images from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, data from the telescope’s commissioning period is now being released on the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes. The data includes images of Jupiter and images and spectra of several asteroids, captured to test the telescope’s instruments before science operations officially began July 12. The data demonstrates Webb’s ability to track solar system targets and produce images and spectra with unprecedented detail.

    1
    Jupiter, center, and its moon Europa, left, are seen through the James Webb Space Telescope’s NIRCam instrument 2.12 micron filter. Credits: B. Holler and J. Stansberry (STScI)/ NASA/ ESA/ CSA.

    Fans of Jupiter will recognize some familiar features of our solar system’s enormous planet in these images seen through Webb’s infrared gaze. A view from the NIRCam instrument’s short-wavelength filter shows distinct bands that encircle the planet as well as the Great Red Spot, a storm big enough to swallow the Earth. The iconic spot appears white in this image because of the way Webb’s infrared image was processed.

    “Combined with the deep field images released the other day, these images of Jupiter demonstrate the full grasp of what Webb can observe, from the faintest, most distant observable galaxies to planets in our own cosmic backyard that you can see with the naked eye from your actual backyard,” said Bryan Holler, a scientist at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, who helped plan these observations.

    2
    Left: Jupiter, center, and its moons Europa, Thebe, and Metis are seen through the James Webb Space Telescope’s NIRCam instrument 2.12 micron filter. Right: Jupiter and Europa, Thebe, and Metis are seen through NIRCam’s 3.23 micron filter. Credits: B. Holler and J. Stansberry (STScI)/ NASA/ ESA/ CSA.

    Clearly visible at left is Europa, a moon with a probable ocean below its thick icy crust, and the target of NASA’s forthcoming Europa Clipper mission.

    What’s more, Europa’s shadow can be seen to the left of the Great Red Spot. Other visible moons in these images include Thebe and Metis.

    “I couldn’t believe that we saw everything so clearly, and how bright they were,” said Stefanie Milam, Webb’s deputy project scientist for planetary science based at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “It’s really exciting to think of the capability and opportunity that we have for observing these kinds of objects in our solar system.”

    Scientists were especially eager to see these images because they are proof that Webb can observe the satellites and rings near bright solar system objects such as Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars. Scientists will use Webb to explore the tantalizing question of whether we can see plumes of material spewing out of moons like Europa and Saturn’s moon Enceladus. Webb may be able to see the signatures of plumes depositing material on the surface on Europa. “I think that’s just one of the coolest things that we’ll be able to do with this telescope in the solar system,” Milam said.

    Additionally, Webb easily captured some of Jupiter’s rings, which especially stand out in the NIRcam long-wavelength filter image. That the rings showed up in one of Webb’s first solar system images is “absolutely astonishing and amazing,” Milam said.

    “The Jupiter images in the narrow-band filters were designed to provide nice images of the entire disk of the planet, but the wealth of additional information about very faint objects (Metis, Thebe, the main ring, hazes) in those images with approximately one-minute exposures was absolutely a very pleasant surprise,” said John Stansberry, observatory scientist and NIRCam commissioning lead at the Space Telescope Science Institute.

    Webb also obtained these images of Jupiter and Europa moving across the telescope’s field of view in three separate observations. This test demonstrated the ability of the observatory to find and track guide stars in the vicinity of bright Jupiter.

    But just how fast can an object move and still be tracked by Webb? This was an important question for scientists who study asteroids and comets. During commissioning, Webb used an asteroid called 6481 Tenzing, located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, to start the moving-target tracking “speed limit” tests.

    Webb was designed with the requirement to track objects that move as fast as Mars, which has a maximum speed of 30 milliarcseconds per second. During commissioning, the Webb team conducted observations of various asteroids, which all appeared as a dot because they were all small. The team proved that Webb will still get valuable data with all of the science instruments for objects moving up to 67 milliarcseconds per second, which is more than twice the expected baseline – similar to photographing a turtle crawling when you’re standing a mile away. “Everything worked brilliantly,” Milam said.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    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.

    ESA50 Logo large

    Canadian Space Agency

     
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