| 2 July 2022
This image was taken by the James Webb Telescope, and it was launched into space in December. (Photo: clone)
The Administrator of NASA (the US space agency), Bill Nelson, made a great promise to fans of astronomy. He confirmed that the world is about to see “the deepest image of the universe ever” – taken by the James Webb Space Telescope.
The statement was made at a press conference at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore. This unpublished material will be revealed next Tuesday, July 12th, the date of James Webb’s first operational photo exhibition.
The telescope was launched into space in December 2021 and is currently orbiting the sun 1.5 million kilometers from Earth. Modernity is a milestone for NASA and Nelson says much remains to be done. “We are just beginning to understand what Webb can do,” he said.
It could answer some of the questions we have: Where did we come from? What else is there? who are we? And, of course, it will answer some questions that we don’t yet know what it is,” the director added.
NASA’s TESS Satellite Telescope has discovered two new Earth-like planets in a nearby star, a red dwarf just 33 light-years from Earth. Launched in 2018, Tess has discovered more than 200 planets through the transit method, that is, by looking at a distant star and observing a drop in brightness typical of an orbiting planet passing between a star and a telescope.
It was identified from the name of the star it orbits, HD 260655, and is called HD 260655 b and HD 260655 c. These are two of the closest Earth-like planets to our solar system. Exoplanets (that is, planets outside our solar system) are considered “super-Earths”, because they are similar to our planet, but of larger dimensions. HD 260655 b is 1.2 times larger than Earth, while HD 60655 c is 1.5 times larger.
The discovery was first presented in early June, during the 240th meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Pasadena, California, by a team of international astronomers led by Rafael Luc of the Institute of Astronomy in Andalusia, Spain, and the University of Chicago.
It remains to be seen whether the newly discovered exoplanets are habitable, nor whether they still have atmospheres. However, what is known is that if life were possible, it would be different from what is found here on Earth. This is because planetary temperatures range from 435 °C in HD 260655b to 283 °C in HD 260655 °C.
Fortunately, the discovery of exoplanets around HD260655 came at an opportune moment, as NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope is just weeks away from beginning its primary science mission, from using its lens to measure the chemical composition of the atmosphere. Two alien scientists are among the top 10 candidates for a closer look at the new telescope.
“Friendly zombie fanatic. Analyst. Coffee buff. Professional music specialist. Communicator.”