James Webb has picked up yet another spectacular sight out in the cosmos. This time the space telescope spotted a “rainbow knot” made up of an extremely red quasar, as well as several massive galaxies around it. The knot would have existed around 11. 5 billion years ago. The latest quasar image from James Webb is yet another reminder of just how vast space is.
Quasars like the one that James Webb just captured an image of, are the energetic centers of galaxies that can appear very bright in the sky at night. These galactic centers most often have supermassive black holes in them – similar to the Milky Way’s supermassive black hole. These centers are often surrounded by plasma and sometimes can explode with high-energy bursts.
This newest quasar captured in a new James Webb image is named SDSS J165202. 64+172852, and scientists believe it existed long ago, in the ancient universe. As such, the light that we see from it in James Webb’s instruments has traveled billions of years to reach our region of space.
The image, which I’ve included above, isn’t the most detailed image that we’ve ever seen from James Webb. The quasar shown in the James Webb photo is far more distant than either the recently scanned Pillars of Creation ,, or the targets of Webb’s first images .. The telescope must see through much more space so the image is blurrier.
Despite the blurriness of the image, though, you can clearly make out the rainbow-knotted look of the quasar and the galaxies that surround it in the latest James Webb image. Redshifting means that the light coming from the quasar’s wavelengths has been stretched out by expansion of the universe, causing it to shift toward the red side of the electromagnetic spectrum.
Previously some scientists believed the quasar in this James Webb image could be colliding with another galaxy. With James Webb’s instruments we can see clearer and you can clearly make out the three nearby galaxies in this image. However, they are extremely close together, which is why some have begun to refer to them as a “knot.”
James Webb is capable of peering far back into the ancient universe, just as evidenced by this new image. We’re learning more about Mars and the other planets by using the space telescope. It’s also confirming theories we have.
Looking for more space news? Scientists now say that climate change on Mars could have been caused by ancient microbes now burrowed deep below the surface.
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