The James Webb Telescope spotted the first supernova in a stunning new image

James Webb may have captured a photo of the first supernova. The team behind the space telescope shared a set of images and a brief report on a possible transient earlier this month. According to the report, the team believes it has detected transient infrared radiation in the galaxy SDSS J141930.11 + 525159.3.

James Webb may have caught the first supernova

These images show the galaxy where James Webb likely spotted a supernova and an image of the same galaxy taken by Hubble. Image source: Space Telescope Science Institute

The team believes that James Webb may have discovered the first supernova due to the object’s brightness. The object is much brighter than the rest of the galaxy. And when Webb observed the galaxy five days away, the object was slightly opaque. The team says this is in line with the behavior of the supernova.

Unfortunately, it is impossible to determine whether the event was a supernova. At least not yet. James Webb’s team says it will need more time with the object to see if it’s a supernova. But, Mike Engiser of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) said it’s a very good candidate inverse.

The new series of photos released by James Webb aren’t quite as amazing as the previous ones we’ve seen. However, it is still wonderful. The image is divided into four different sections. Includes both shots from James Webb and Hubble. The fourth picture in the set shows the difference between them all. Looking closely, you can almost see a possible James Webb-captured supernova.

full of surprises

James Webb's photo of the Carina Nebula
The Carina Nebula as pictured by James Webb. Image source: NASA, ESA, CSA, and STScI

James Webb wasn’t built to monitor these kinds of events, though. Instead, it is meant to study distant planets and reveal water and other signs of life. So, the fact that it probably took a picture of a supernova is exciting. The space telescope continues to exceed expectations despite suffering minor damage.

The James Webb Galaxy observed a supernova three to four billion light-years away. As a result, the difference we see is the slow, faint light of the eruption that occurred three to four billion years ago. When a star dies and a supernova occurs, the entire event takes place in a split second. However, the resulting fireball can grow and sparkle.

The current hypothesis is that James Webb discovered this supernova just moments after its peak brightness. As a result, the transient dimming of light after several days may be a strong indication that it was indeed a supernova.

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