James Webb Space Telescope reveals big surprise that blindsided Hubble Telescope | Tech News

James Webb Space Telescope reveals big surprise that blindsided Hubble Telescope

The image captured by the NASA James Webb Space Telescope has revealed a a big stellar surprise in the Southern Ring Nebula.

| Updated on: Dec 10 2022, 23:45 IST
Top NASA tech that solved Mars myths and mysteries like never before
1/10 Humans have been studying Mars for hundred of years. In 1609, Galileo was the first person to peer through a telescope and get a more intimate image of what many could only have dreamed of. (Pixabay)
2/10 An up close and personal view of the red planet emerged as time progressed and so did the capabilities of telescopes. In fact, from the late 1800s to the mid 1900s, many astronomers believed that Mars was home to majestic seas and lush areas of vegetation. The Dark markings on Mars surface were once believed to be caused by vegetation growing and dying. (Pixabay)
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3/10 Some even believed that intelligent life existed on Mars just because of what they saw through their simple telescopes. But that is exactly was science is about-you make educated guesses based on what you know, then change your ideas based on what you learn. (NASA)
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4/10 Now, thanks to new sophisticated equipment and robotic visits to Mars, it turns out they were caused by Martian wind. It was not until the 1960s, when NASA's Mariner missions flew by and snapped pictures of Mars that many of the myths about the red planet were dispelled. (NASA)
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5/10 That does not make Mars any less interesting. The possibility that life actually existed once on Mars is still a distinct possibility. Or it may even be existing on Mars today! No, not in the form of little green men, but on a microbial level. (NASA)
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6/10 Now, taking pictures is great and all. But nothing is better than getting to know the real thing. So, to get a better feel of Mars, Scientists and engineers built some nifty technologies, from spacecrafts to reach Mars and rovers (vehicles) to actually trundle and explore the planet. (NASA/JPL)
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7/10 Among the earliest tech deployed for Mars was Phoenix. It was launched on August 4, 2007 and so began its 9-month long, 681 Million km journey to the legendary red planet. Now, landing on a planet is not as easy as simply dropping a spacecraft onto it. There is actually a lot of steps to the process. (NASA)
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8/10 On May 25, 2008, Phoenix entered Mars atmosphere. It used its heat shield to slow down the high speed entry of 5600 meters per second or around 12500 miles per hour. It released a supersonic PARACHUTE, then detached from its parachute and used its rocket engines to land safely on the planet's surface. Phoenix' landing spot was further north and closer to the ice covered poles than any spacecraft has ever been before. (NASA)
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9/10 Phoenix had two primary goals: One was to study the history of water in the Martian arctic and the other was to search for evidence of a habitual zone and assess the biological potential of the ice soil boundary. And to do that the spacecraft was packed full of gizmos and gadgets to perform all sets of experiments and tests. One of these gizmos was a robotic arm with a shovel attached. It was used to dig up samples of the martian soil for experiments! (NASA)
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10/10 Another top tech on the Mars surface was the Surface Stereo Imager, which is really just a fancy name for the camera. Three surface stereo imagers were Phoenix' eye. Engineers built the device with two optical lenses that would allow for a three dimensional view, just like our eyes. And the SSI sent back some amazing images of the martian landscape. (Source: NASA/Justin Tully) (NASA)
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Southern Ring Nebula ring has two stars of equal proportions, revealed James Webb Space Telescope and they even have a third companion. Hubble Telescope had seen one big and one smaller companion only. (NASA)

The release of NASA's James Webb Space Telescope's images have provided a great chance for astronomers around the world to observe never-seen-before parts of deep space. And not just that, even what was visible before, became even more clear and this has sprung a surprise or two for astronomers. Aong the first images taken by Webb earlier this year was one of the Southern Ring Nebula. Now, researchers are analysing this data and have found evidence of an unknown star.

The Southern Ring Nebula, which is located around 2000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Vela, was earlier assumed to contain two stars. This nebula, also known as NGC 3132 had also been observed by the Hubble Space Telescope.

James Webb showed an even more complex view of the Southern Ring Nebula. It has two instruments, the Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) which helps to observe warmer objects such as stars, and the Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) which is aimed to spot dust in deep space. It was MIRI's observation which showed the first surprise- that the white dwarf was surprisingly red. Not only that, it also revealed that the stars were of almost same size- Hubble Telescope had shown one large and one small one. The larger was the star that was still alive while the smaller companion was the dead star, generally known as white dwarf. Its unexpected red colour indicated there was something else out there too.

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NASA James Webb Telescope reveals hidden star

After this, astronomers immediately wondered where did this material come from. This only indicated the presence of another invisible star orbiting the white dwarf which resulted in the gigantic dust disk, Orsola De Marco, an astrophysicist at Macquarie University told Space.com. This suddenly transformed the binary system of stars into a 3-star system.

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First Published Date: 10 Dec, 23:40 IST