The James Webb Telescope observed the galaxy cluster MACS0647 bend light from the MACS0647-JD system, making it appear in three distinct locations.
Discovered for the first time 10 years ago, system MACS0647-JD just appears as “a pale red dot” in old photos from the Hubble Space Telescope, but in a new report on October 26, NASA said that this system actually consists of two giant structures, not just one as previously thought.
The discovery was made possible thanks to the unprecedentedly precise observations of the James Webb Space Telescope. NASA’s $10 billion supertelescope uses the gravitational lensing effect of galaxy cluster MACS0647 to image MACS0647-JD (Gravitational lensing is an astronomical phenomenon that occurs when light emitted by an object is deflected under the influence of gravity as it passes near other objects).
MACS0647-JD system appears in three different locations
The MACS0647-JD system appears in three different locations in Webb’s new image due to the gravitational effects of the MACS0647 galaxy cluster. (Photo: NASA)
The use of gravitational lenses is nothing new in astronomy, but Webb’s infrared light-sensitive instruments – optimized for observing the early universe – provide new information.
Due to the extremely strong gravity of the MACS0647 galaxy cluster, the light from the very distant system MACS0647-JD was bent and magnified by a factor of 8.5 and 2, making it appear in three positions JD1, JD2 and JD3 on the images taken. by the James Webb telescope.
When the three images are enlarged, they show that MACS0647-JD is made up of two distinct structures, but scientists still don’t know what they are. “We are actively discussing whether these are two galaxies or two star clusters within the same galaxy,” said astronomer Dan Coe of the Space Telescope Management Science Institute.
If MACS0647-JD is a two-galaxy system, a more intriguing possibility is that we are observing a merger of two galaxies in the early universe, which took place only about 400 million years after the Big Bang.
“The MACS0647-JD study could help us better understand how ancient galaxies evolved into the galaxies we live in today, as well as how the universe has evolved over this time.”pointed out co-author Rebecca Larson, a doctoral student at the University of Texas at Austin.
Article source: VnExpress
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The James Webb Telescope observed that the galaxy cluster MACS0647 had bent light from the MACS0647-JD system, causing it to appear in three distinct locations….