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Eärendel: The James Webb Space Telescope images the outermost star

Eärendel: The James Webb Space Telescope images the outermost star

By far the most distant star known “Earendel” is a massive main sequence star of spectral class B, about twice the Sun’s temperature and a million times brighter. This has now been determined using the James Webb Space Telescope, which Stern discovered only a year and a half ago. We see it as having existed only a billion years after the Big Bang thanks to a stroke of luck alone. Despite this enormous distance, astronomers believe they see evidence of another star in the measurement data, with which Eärendel forms a double star. More details have been found about the galaxy of the extremely distant star.


Earendel (“Morning Star” in Old English) was discovered by the Hubble Space Telescope, breaking the record for the farthest star at the time. This was made possible by a particularly fortunate circumstance: an enormous cluster of galaxies between us and the distant Eärndel galaxy bends and focuses light in such a way that a single star can be seen individually for a limited amount of time. Based on the data collected, the researchers now hypothesize that the distant star will be magnified by a factor of 4,000, NASA explains. Measurements are currently being evaluated using the NIRSpec instrument to determine exact composition and distance.

Thus, analysis with the James Webb Space Telescope made other elements in the Eärndel Galaxy visible. Dubbed the “sunrise arc” (roughly “sunrise arc”), they are the most massive galaxies in the early universe. So researchers can pinpoint regions where stars are forming and older star clusters, some of which are only 10 light-years in diameter. It was also determined that one of these star clusters is gravitationally bound and can exist to this day. Of course, this cannot be verified, but it shows what globular star clusters looked like in our Milky Way 13 billion years ago.

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So while record star Earendel is being researched better and better, the technology in use is actually being used Similar distant stars to discover. Among other things, “Quyllur” (Quechua for “star”), the only known red giant star more than a billion light-years from Earth, was found. Thanks to gravitational lensing, we can at least see it the way it does Three billion years after the Big Bang. According to NASA, researchers are now cautiously optimistic that the first direct evidence of a first-generation star after the Big Bang will soon be possible in this way. These were composed almost entirely of hydrogen and helium.


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