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The Hubble Telescope Isn't Finished Yet

Started by Recusant, April 08, 2022, 06:06:23 AM

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Recusant

Thirty years or so, and still keeping an eye on things. If there are any problems with the links please let me know.

"A star nicknamed 'Earendel' may be the most distant yet seen" | Science News

Quote

A newfound possible star (arrow) is from the universe's first 900 million years, researchers say. It's only visible because of an intervening galaxy cluster, which magnifies the light of this object and a background galaxy, seen as the red arc.
Image Credits: NASA, ESA, Brian Welch/JHU, Dan Coe/STSCI; Image Processing: NASA, ESA, Allyssa Pagan/STSCI





A chance alignment may have revealed a star from the universe's first billion years.

If confirmed, this star would be the most distant one ever seen, obliterating the previous record (SN: 7/11/17). Light from the star traveled for about 12.9 billion years on its journey toward Earth, about 4 billion years longer than the former record holder, researchers report in the March 30 Nature. Studying the object could help researchers learn more about the universe's composition during that early, mysterious time.

"These are the sorts of things that you only hope you could discover," says astronomer Katherine Whitaker of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, who was not part of the new study.

[Continues . . .]

The paper ("A highly magnified star at redshift 6.2") is available through the token link at the bottom of the story above.

QuoteAbstract:

Galaxy clusters magnify background objects through strong gravitational lensing. Typical magnifications for lensed galaxies are factors of a few but can also be as high as tens or hundreds, stretching galaxies into giant arcs. Individual stars can attain even higher magnifications given fortuitous alignment with the lensing cluster. Recently, several individual stars at redshifts between approximately 1 and 1.5 have been discovered, magnified by factors of thousands, temporarily boosted by microlensing.

Here we report observations of a more distant and persistent magnified star at a redshift of 6.2±0.1, 900 million years after the Big Bang. This star is magnified by a factor of thousands by the foreground galaxy cluster lens WHL0137–08 (redshift 0.566), as estimated by four independent lens models.

Unlike previous lensed stars, the magnification and observed brightness (AB magnitude, 27.2) have remained roughly constant over 3.5 years of imaging and follow-up. The delensed absolute UV magnitude, −10±2, is consistent with a star of mass greater than 50 times the mass of the Sun. Confirmation and spectral classification are forthcoming from approved observations with the James Webb Space Telescope.
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