NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope captures an image of a dying star | Science and technology news


NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope captured a stunning image of a star on the verge of death.

The telescope’s infrared lens observed gas and dust being blasted into space from a giant star 15,000 light-years away.

The shimmering violet waste once formed the outer layer of the star Wolf-Rayet 124.

Located in the Sagittarius constellation, it is 30 times more massive than our Sun and has already shed enough material for 10 suns, according to NASA.

“What we see right in the center of this beautiful new image is a star,” said NASA’s Amber Straughn.

“Light from this star has been traveling through space for about 15,000 years, 15,000 light-years away before it hit the telescope’s detectors.

“And the stuff you see around the central star that looks like dust is dust.

“And so, at the end of a star’s life, they shed their outer material, their outer layers, into the rest of the universe.”

She added: “I think this is one of the most beautiful concepts in all of astronomy. This is Carl Sagan’s Stardust concept.

“The fact that the iron in your blood and the calcium in your bones were literally forged in a star that exploded billions of years ago.

“And that’s what we see in this new picture. This dust will spread throughout the cosmos and will eventually create planets. And that’s actually how we got here.”

The telescope captures fine details

NASA released the image at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas.

The observation was among the first Webb made after launching in late 2021.

The Hubble Space Telescope took an image of the same transitional star a few decades ago – but it looked more like a fireball, without the fine detail.

Such a transformation occurs only in some stars and, according to scientists, is usually the last step before they explode and become supernova.

Last year the telescope took a picture of Dust rings resembling a fingerprint of two stars And captured his first image of a planet outside the solar system.

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