New NASA Webb photograph captures our universe's most distant star

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope has photographed the furthest known star in the universe - named after a Tolkien character.

1 minute & 17 seconds read time

Astronomers have used NASA's James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) to perform observations on the furthest known star.

New NASA Webb photograph captures our universe's most distant star 10

Hubble's image.

The star is called Earendel, which was named after a character in J.R.R Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" prequel book "The Silmarillion". The half-elven character in the book carries a jewel called a "Silmaril" across the sea, also called the morning star, which translates in Old English to the dawn star. As for the star itself, Earendil was found through gravitation lensing by observations from the Hubble Space Telescope, and its 12.9 billion light-years from Earth, making it the most distant star ever observed.

Follow-up observations of Earendel were recently conducted by astronomers using JWST data, which are simply night and day when compared to the images Hubble produced. The JWST observations provided a much more close-up of the star, providing astronomers and researchers with a much more detailed image. In a recent paper, astronomers from the Space Telescope Science Institute in Maryland wrote that JWST was designed to see the very first stars, but astronomers believed the observations would be stars in groups and not individually.

New NASA Webb photograph captures our universe's most distant star 25

JWST image.

"JWST was designed to study the first stars. Until recently, we assumed that meant populations of stars within the first galaxies. But in the past three years, three individual strongly lensed stars have been discovered. This offers a new hope of directly observing individual stars at cosmological distances with JWST," wrote Space Telescope Science Institute astronomers.

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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