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The James Webb Space Telescope is the most powerful telescope that humans have ever built, and that power has allowed us to look deeper into our universe than ever before. Now, Webb’s observations have provided a new look at the iconic Supernova 1987A, revealing hidden structures that may have helped shape the supernova remnant itself.
The new image, which was released by the Webb telescope team, showcases the Supernova in vivid detail. Captured using the telescope’s Near-InfraRed Camera (NIRCam), it showcases a central area that looks similar to a keyhole. This central structure, according to the Webb team, is composed of gas and dust clumps that are so dense Webb’s Infrared Light can’t penetrate them.
That dark hole in the center is surrounded by a bright, equatorial ring, which helps to form a band around the center, giving Supernova 1987A its iconic shape. The Webb team believes that these gas-and-dust center structures are what give supernova outer rings an hourglass shape.
These images provide the most detailed and high-resolution look that we’ve ever had of the iconic Supernova 1987A, which has been studied in-depth since its discovery. NASA Spitzer observations were unable to capture the same level of detail or depth in the workings and inner structure of the supernova.
Despite how much we have studied this supernova, the Webb team says there are still several mysteries surrounding it, particularly around the neutron star that should have formed after the supernova. Perhaps deeper investigations by the James Webb and by future telescopes will help us better understand this cosmic entity.
If nothing else, though, James Webb continues peeling away some of our universe’s mysteries. And each layer we peel away seems to give birth to a new mystery for astronomers to dig into.
The post James Webb reveals hidden structures in iconic supernova appeared first on BGR.