Astronomers have used NASA's James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) to perform observations on the furthest known star.
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.
"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.
- > NEXT STORY: PC made up 50% of Capcom's Q1 game sales, or about 5.8 million
- < PREVIOUS STORY: Capcom has 'no plans' to raise prices of its games