NASA's James Webb Telescope exceeds expectations again, snaps Pandora cluster in fine detail

    NASA’s James Webb Telescope has managed to capture never-seen-before details of the Pandora cluster. Have a look.

    By: HT TECH
    | Updated on: Feb 16 2023, 23:46 IST
    NASA reveals stunning Jupiter images captured by James Webb Space Telescope
    1/6 Amazingly, currently, on Jupiter, there are auroras, storms, extreme temperatures and powerful winds stirring things up, according to NASA. The images captured by the James Webb Space Telescope could give scientists a look at the conditions of the gas giant. (NASA)
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    2/6 Planetary astronomer Imke de Pater, professor emerita of the University of California, Berkeley said, “We hadn’t really expected it to be this good, to be honest. It’s really remarkable that we can see details on Jupiter together with its rings, tiny satellites, and even galaxies in one image.” (NASA)
    James Webb Space Telescope
    3/6 The images were captured by the telescope's Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) instrument on July 27, which highlighted the planet's unique features. According to NASA, the NIRCam has three specialized infrared filters that showcase details of the planet. (AFP)
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    4/6 The image was created by compositing several images. Auroras are visible near the Northern and Southern poles of the planet. According to NASA, the auroras shine in a filter that is mapped to redder colors, which also highlights light reflected from lower clouds and upper hazes. (NASA)
    5/6 The Great Red Spot as well as other clouds can be visible in the images as white since it is reflecting the sunlight. The Great Red Spot is a giant vortex which has been swirling around on Jupiter’s surface for a long time. Jupiter’s 2 moons, Amalthea and Adrastea can also be seen “photo-bombing” the planet. (REUTERS)
    6/6 Thierry Fouchet, a professor at the Paris Observatory, as part of an international collaboration for Webb’s Early Release Science program said, “This one image sums up the science of our Jupiter system program, which studies the dynamics and chemistry of Jupiter itself, its rings, and its satellite system.” (NASA/AFP)
    Pandora cluster
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    Although NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has previously studied Pandora, James Webb Telescope has captured the cluster of galaxies in much greater detail. (NASA)

    NASA's James Webb Space Telescope has shared another surprising view of a celestial object. The James Webb Telescope has captured the region in space identified as Pandora's Cluster (Abell 2744), which reveals three already enormous clusters of galaxies converging to create a mega-cluster. This combined mass generates a potent gravitational lens, a natural effect of gravity that amplifies the observation of galaxies in the early universe located far beyond the cluster by utilizing it like a magnifying glass.

    Earlier, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope had captured only the central core of Pandora. Thanks to the great and powerful infrared instruments combined with a broad mosaic view of the region's multiple areas of lensing of the Webb telescope, astronomers could achieve a balance of breadth and depth to study cosmology and galaxy evolution.

    “When the images of Pandora's Cluster first came in from Webb, we were honestly a little star struck. There was so much detail in the foreground cluster and so many distant lensed galaxies, I found myself getting lost in the image. Webb exceeded our expectations,” a NASA blog quoted astronomer Rachel Bezanson of the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania.

    Webb's new view of Pandora's Cluster stitches 4 snapshots together into a panorama, showing 3 separate galaxy clusters merging into a mega-cluster and some 50,000 sources of near-infrared.

    Tech behind James Webb Space Telescope that captured Pandora image

    Researchers utilized Webb's Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam) to capture the cluster by taking exposures lasting between 4 to 6 hours, resulting in an overall observing time of approximately 30 hours. After that, the team analyzes the imaging data to select specific galaxies for further observation with the Near-Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec), allowing for precise distance measurements and providing detailed information about the composition of the lensed galaxies. It offers new insights into the early stages of galaxy assembly and evolution.

    "The imaging mosaics and catalog of sources on Pandora's Cluster (Abell 2744) provided by the UNCOVER team combine publicly available Hubble data with Webb photometry from three early observation programs: JWST-GO-2561, JWST-DD-ERS-1324, and JWST-DD-2756," NASA said in a blog.

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    First Published Date: 16 Feb, 23:46 IST
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