The James Webb has already completed a year of life, and continues to shine as bright as the first time. In recent captures, the space telescope has managed to photograph one of the most impressive images to date. Is about the explosion of a supernova in a distant spiral galaxyNGC 1566, but more commonly known as Spanish Dancer.
Using its infrared cameras, the James Webb has studied the impressive Spanish Dancer in detail. Yes ok the galaxy is well known for having one of the most active galactic centers in our cosmic neighborhood, the new capabilities that the JWST possesses elevate the possibilities of study much further. The results were published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.
In the new images, scientists have been able to observe the type 1a supernova, the result of the explosion of a carbon-oxygen white dwarf star. The most impressive thing is that the discovery was a complete accident. According to Michael Tucker, a researcher at Ohio State University’s Center for Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics, the researchers came across the find while studying NGC 1566 in detail.
The James Webb continues to discover fragments of outer space
The investigation has been the result of the PHANGS-JWST survey. Thanks to the extensive library of images and measurements of star clusters that has been created with it, researchers can have access to reference data that allows them to study nearby galaxies. Now, the discovery of this supernova will allow scientific teams to investigate how certain chemical elements are emitted into the surrounding space after an explosion of cosmic magnitudes.
Using data captured by James Webb’s NIRCam and MIRI instruments, scientists have discovered something new. As detailed, expelled material could be observed up to 200 days after the initial event, but only at infrared wavelengths. These would have been impossible to obtain from planet Earth, which is why having eyes in outer space is so important.
the researchers have placed special emphasis on studying how the process known as radioactive decay occurs. In it, an unstable atom releases energy to become a more stable version. Thus, they detailed the way in which the cobalt-56 isotope breaks down into iron-56, something only possible to observe with the infrared cameras of James Webb.
“This is one of those studies where, if our results had not been as expected, it would have been really worryingsays Tucker in a release. “We’ve always assumed that energy doesn’t escape ejecta, but until James Webb it was just a theory.”
It’s really promising that we’re doing this kind of science and with James Webb there’s a good chance that we’ll not only be able to do the same thing for different kinds of supernovae, but do it even better.