New Look at Farthest Star
Read the news release: https://webbtelescope.org/contents/news-releases/2023/news-2023-132
Produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Office of Public Outreach in collaboration with NASA’s Universe of Learning partners: Caltech/IPAC, Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian, and NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
· Zoom to Webb image of Earendel: NASA, ESA, CSA, Alyssa Pagan (STScI). Acknowledgement: NSF's NOIRLab, Akira Fujii DSS.
· Webb image of galaxy cluster WHL0137-08 and Earendel: NASA, ESA, CSA. Image processing: Zolt G. Levay.
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Images of colorful nebulae, galaxies, star clusters, and planets in outer space. Text, News From the Universe. August 21, 2023. New Look at Farthest Star.
Against a backdrop of stars, blue lines trace the constellation Cetus. A black and white shading of a sea monster with a tail coiled upwards overlaps the constellation. We move in to view the individual stars more closely.
Text, In 2022, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope spotted the most distant star yet detected, within the universe's first billion years after the big bang.
NASA's James Webb Space Telescope followed up on the star, nicknamed Earendel from the old English name for "morning star."
We close in on a section of stars and galaxies. In the bottom right corner, a tiny dim star among a group of brighter and larger orange and yellow stars or galaxies is circled and labeled Earendel. It is to the right of a large galaxy cluster.
Text, Webb revealed that Earendel is more than twice as hot as our Sun and 1 million times more luminous. Earendel is perfectly aligned behind a wrinkle in space-time created by the intense gravity of a massive galaxy cluster, which magnifies the distant star.
The section with Earendel enlarges to show the red star within a wispy red diagonal line. Text, Astronomers see hints of a cooler, redder companion star in the Webb data, a common arrangement for massive stars like Earendel. Astronomers are still studying Webb's Earendel data to learn more about what the life of a star was like in the universe's first billion years. This news was brought to you in part by the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, MD.