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The JW Space Telescope News Update/August


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The JWST is a gift that keeps on giving and will for the next decade or so: what a great time to be alive! Below are some articles which piqued my interest.

The first article that caught my eye began with a surprising opening paragraph...

"To everyone who sees them, the new James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) images of the cosmos are beautifully awe-inspiring. But to most professional astronomers and cosmologists, they are also extremely surprising—not at all what was predicted by theory."

I don't have the background to truly understand why the recent photos contradict Standard Model Physics, or even if they actually do, but I do know that one of the most fascinating statements by scientists is "Wait... What?" and another is "...that doesn't correspond with what we thought we knew.".


The second article highlights a galaxy roughly twice the size of our own Milky Way and updates us on its workings. It also discusses "Super Massive Blackholes". My own view on life is anytime a 'Super Massive Blackhole' is under discussion, you should drop what you are doing a read on.


Third is an article on the Cartwheel Galaxy (as above, if you see news/photos on a 'Cartwheel Galaxy', you should stop what you are doing and read on).


Ain't that pretty?


Fourth is another Space.com article on how the JWST will be looking for vaporized jewels and metals in the atmosphere(s) of Exoplanets.

"Previously, these elements and minerals have been detected as a diffuse presence in exoplanetary atmospheres. Now, JWST's high-resolution vision will be able to directly distinguish these minerals as clouds, spectroscopically measuring their composition.

"Clouds tell us a lot about the chemistry in the atmosphere," Kataria said. "It then becomes a question of how the clouds formed, and the formation and evolution of the system as a whole."

We will be able to do a (limited) measurement of the make up of an Exoplanet's atmosphere; it is worth stopping for a minute and just pondering the idea of that. We truly are on the verge of massively expanding our understanding of the cosmos. What are the implications of this?

"Astronomers will pay particularly close attention to TRAPPIST-1e, which is the most Earth-like planet in the neighborhood. If it is habitable, then evidence for that may be found in its atmosphere, including in its clouds.

"Clouds are an important feature on Earth, to regulate temperature," Kataria said. "They're an important consideration for Earth's climate. It stands to reason that clouds could also be a vital component in the atmosphere of a habitable exoplanet. The more we understand how clouds form in general — as they have on Earth and other solar system planets — the more we understand how clouds evolved in more exotic environments."


Finally, a note on one of humanity' greatest space achievements; NASA Voyager Missions. If you have read this far, you are obviously a special person with an inquisitive mind, and thus might appreciate a Webcast/Lecture from JPL regarding the Voyager missions and/or might want to catch it later on YouTube. And yes, I am a Trekkie and so do think about Star Trek the Motion Picture.

The best part of this is...

Imagine what else we will learn next month?


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Apologies to all; I forgot to add the link to the JPL/NASA Voyager lectures article.


That said, I am sure it'll turn up on You Tube soon after.

BTW, if you are interested in Space (by reading this, you are), then Space.com is a site you might want to bookmark.

Cheers to my fellow Space Junkies!


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