Jump to content

BRFCS

BY THE FANS, FOR THE FANS
SINCE 1996
Proudly partnered with TheTerraceStore.com

James Webb Space Telescope - stunning stellar images


Recommended Posts

Thought there'd already be a thread for this but doesn't look like it. We have just started getting the first official completed images from the James Webb Space Telescope, the successor to Hubble. Decades in development, it's quite the upgrade and will allow us to look at some of the very oldest galaxies, up to 13.2 billion years old, which is about 600 million years after the Big Bang.

Below is the first completed image they revealed yesterday. What's mind-blowing is that if you took a grain of sand and held it up to the night sky at arm's length, that grain would cover the same portion of the night sky that this image is showing! A lot of these points of light, maybe even most of them, aren't just stars. They're entire galaxies with billions of stars in them. All in a grain of sand's worth of what we look out on every night. The scale of the universe is mind-boggling, really puts all our petty squabbles and power struggles into perspective.

On the actual full resolution image you can zoom into those blurs of light and see galaxies in surprising detail, testament to the power of our new $10 billion toy. Much of what you're looking at doesn't look the same anymore, as the light from them has taken billions of years to arrive here.

Webb was initially planned to search for these oldest galaxies to help us better understand the Big Bang and the early physics of the universe but another huge part of its mission is now to study exoplanets (planets in solar systems other than ours) and figure out what kind of atmospheres they have, which will help us in the search for life.

Right now they're dropping the other initial images, and there'll be more every week. It's a NASA project, but there has been plenty of collaboration with other space agencies, especially ESA (European Space Agency). It's going to revolutionise what we know about the cosmos.

 

Webb first image.jpg

Edit - the image isn't coming up as clearly as the one I copied, so here's a link to the image on NASA's site. I don't think this is the full quality version but it's still a fair bit sharper than the one I've posted: https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/goddard/2022/nasa-s-webb-delivers-deepest-infrared-image-of-universe-yet

Edited by bluebruce
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Stunning technology. It’s difficult to know what to say about these things. The scale of all this is just simply beyond anyones comprehension. I’ve also heard people say these photos look no different from many Galatial photos seen over previous years - which to most people won’t.  what staggers me are the people who just aren’t interested in these things - beyond a quick glance. I just don’t understand that. How can anyone not just stand in awe? We earthlings in the main, can only look and wonder. 
 

The chances or probabilities are that we on earth are the only intelligent beings in the entire universe. In one way that belittles our own lives, yet on the other it makes us all so very special.

Thanks for the photos @bluebruce

Link to comment
Share on other sites

38 minutes ago, den said:

Stunning technology. It’s difficult to know what to say about these things. The scale of all this is just simply beyond anyones comprehension. I’ve also heard people say these photos look no different from many Galatial photos seen over previous years - which to most people won’t.  what staggers me are the people who just aren’t interested in these things - beyond a quick glance. I just don’t understand that. How can anyone not just stand in awe? We earthlings in the main, can only look and wonder. 
 

The chances or probabilities are that we on earth are the only intelligent beings in the entire universe. In one way that belittles our own lives, yet on the other it makes us all so very special.

Thanks for the photos @bluebruce

I think it's usually that the scale of it all either scares people or they don't understand it well enough. Some people don't have a sense of wonder about the big picture and only care about the small picture of their mundane daily lives. I've also heard people moan things like 'what are we doing fannying about spending money looking at the stars and building spaceships to barren planets when we have all these problems down here? Put the money into fixing homelessness' etc. I can understand that thought process, but it's very shortsighted. Plenty of tech advances have come from the study and exploration of space, too many to name, but satellites and everything we get from them, like GPS, are the most obvious. Science is very interconnected too, so some ways it has pushed us forward are less obvious. Longer term, there is a strong chance we will need a second home even if we don't hothouse ourselves into extinction. Also, things like asteroid mining can bring practically limitless resources without having to despoil the Earth to get them.

But sometimes, knowledge is its own reward, with the sense of awe and expansion of minds it can provoke.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, den said:

I’ve also heard people say these photos look no different from many Galatial photos seen over previous years - which to most people won’t.

On this point, here is an image of Webb (on the left) vs Hubble (right) covering the same area of space. If you want to compare specific points of the photos, just mentally rotate the Hubble one slightly anti-clockwise until they line up. The star to Hubble's right, with the lengthy red smudge line to the right of it, is a good point of reference for this rotation, being easily identifiable on the Webb pic. But you don't really need to do that to see how much better the new photos are.

 

Webb v Hubble.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also, if anyone is wondering what the stretched points of light are, that's something called gravitational lensing. I believe all of those bits are galaxies, as it's something that happens when light from an incredibly distant object is warped by gravity of nearer objects. This can actually enable us to see things we couldn't normally, which would be obscured by something else, because the bend of space-time causes light to follow a different path and stretch around it.

On the Webb image, the red light will be all or mostly from particularly ancient galaxies. The light is so old that its wavelength has stretched out and it shows up better in the infrared. This is why Webb was made, to be able to see things that Hubble never could by operating in the infrared. This does also mean it isn't as good at seeing visible light as Hubble, but overall it will really take us to the next level of understanding the cosmos. Some of the galaxies we can see now are older than any we have seen before, including from Spitzer, a cheaper, less advanced infrared space telescope that ran out of fuel in 2020.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, bluebruce said:

I think it's usually that the scale of it all either scares people or they don't understand it well enough. Some people don't have a sense of wonder about the big picture and only care about the small picture of their mundane daily lives. I've also heard people moan things like 'what are we doing fannying about spending money looking at the stars and building spaceships to barren planets when we have all these problems down here? Put the money into fixing homelessness' etc. I can understand that thought process, but it's very shortsighted. Plenty of tech advances have come from the study and exploration of space, too many to name, but satellites and everything we get from them, like GPS, are the most obvious. Science is very interconnected too, so some ways it has pushed us forward are less obvious. Longer term, there is a strong chance we will need a second home even if we don't hothouse ourselves into extinction. Also, things like asteroid mining can bring practically limitless resources without having to despoil the Earth to get them.

But sometimes, knowledge is its own reward, with the sense of awe and expansion of minds it can provoke.

To be fair I don't really give a fuck about what the aliens look like on Neptune when there's a guy pissing on my front door.

But yes I do agree that knowledge is its own reward and the wide universe in which we inhabit is absolutely fascinating. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, Upside Down said:

To be fair I don't really give a fuck about what the aliens look like on Neptune when there's a guy pissing on my front door.

But yes I do agree that knowledge is its own reward and the wide universe in which we inhabit is absolutely fascinating. 

Whereas if we found out there were aliens on Neptune, I'd invite the guy in to piss on my carpet whilst we marvelled together at the most monumental discovery in human history. (Then I'd twat him and make him lick the carpet clean)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, bluebruce said:

Whereas if we found out there were aliens on Neptune, I'd invite the guy in to piss on my carpet whilst we marvelled together at the most monumental discovery in human history. (Then I'd twat him and make him lick the carpet clean)

That sounds like the plot for a movie....

 

 

 

 

 

 

..... a dirty movie.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I once saw an alien from Neptune   something on You Tube (I think) where the image was a leaf on a plant in a garden. Successive images withdrew x10 each time. You could see the gradual withdrawal from the garden, town, county, country, continent, planet etc. Planet Earth disappeared and so did the sun as I marvelled at the extent of the universe.

The second half, however, was more intriguing as the images returned to the leaf and continued into the matter of the leaf and so on to the atoms which make up the leaf which looked like a whole new universe.

My point is it's not just the extent (going outwards) of the universe that we marvel at but also the inner make up of matter itself. We are somewhere between the smallest and the biggest of existing matter.

Perhaps that awe is why I bow down to someone/something greater.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 14/07/2022 at 20:44, bazza said:

I once saw an alien from Neptune   something on You Tube (I think) where the image was a leaf on a plant in a garden. Successive images withdrew x10 each time. You could see the gradual withdrawal from the garden, town, county, country, continent, planet etc. Planet Earth disappeared and so did the sun as I marvelled at the extent of the universe.

The second half, however, was more intriguing as the images returned to the leaf and continued into the matter of the leaf and so on to the atoms which make up the leaf which looked like a whole new universe.

My point is it's not just the extent (going outwards) of the universe that we marvel at but also the inner make up of matter itself. We are somewhere between the smallest and the biggest of existing matter.

Perhaps that awe is why I bow down to someone/something greater.

You draw a very different conclusion to myself, if you're referring to a God of some sort, it's often an easy explanation for things that are too mind-boggling to comprehend but over time more and more of those things get answered in comprehensible ways. But that's probably a discussion for the new forum page so we'll not do that! Something greater than us though, yeh, all this huge and minute scale is absolutely greater than us. We're just little tiny specks in a colossal dance of chaos and order. It does expand the mind to know about these things.

The micro universe, the quantum realm essentially, is utterly fascinating too, and probably more important for technological progress than the huge picture stuff for now. If you understand exactly how atoms and subatomic particles work...you can pretty much do anything at our level of matter. I also sometimes wonder if we're just parts of atoms of something much, much larger. It's crazy how much of the architecture of atoms has similarities to those of star systems etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 14/07/2022 at 20:44, bazza said:

I once saw an alien from Neptune   something on You Tube (I think) where the image was a leaf on a plant in a garden. Successive images withdrew x10 each time. You could see the gradual withdrawal from the garden, town, county, country, continent, planet etc. Planet Earth disappeared and so did the sun as I marvelled at the extent of the universe.

The second half, however, was more intriguing as the images returned to the leaf and continued into the matter of the leaf and so on to the atoms which make up the leaf which looked like a whole new universe.

My point is it's not just the extent (going outwards) of the universe that we marvel at but also the inner make up of matter itself. We are somewhere between the smallest and the biggest of existing matter.

Perhaps that awe is why I bow down to someone/something greater.

And we're possibly the only things in the entire universe that knows it exists.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 hours ago, bluebruce said:

You draw a very different conclusion to myself, if you're referring to a God of some sort, it's often an easy explanation for things that are too mind-boggling to comprehend but over time more and more of those things get answered in comprehensible ways.

 I also sometimes wonder if we're just parts of atoms of something much, much larger. 

That last sentence.......I have often thought the same.

As to "a God of some sort"I cannot help but look at the natural world here on Earth and marvel at its design and its workings and its beauty; something structural in the midst of chaos. Look at the DNA helix formation.

Also science can detect, explain and demonstrate matter and energy but it cannot do the same for things such as love or hate. You can measure electricity but you cannot measure love. You can see the effects of love or hate but not measure them. 

Anyway, as you say, this is more for WDWY forum.

22 hours ago, Mellor Rover said:

And we're possibly the only things in the entire universe that knows it exists.

I read an article a long time ago about two American scientists, one an astronomer and the other an anthropologist who together set out to demonstrate that life could exist elsewhere in the universe. Amazingly they came to the conclusion that there probably wasn't because this planet and its set up is likely to be a complete freak; an entity that really should not exist according to the laws of the universe as they saw it.

I know, I know.................a load of baloney but their conclusion amazed me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 hours ago, Mellor Rover said:

And we're possibly the only things in the entire universe that knows it exists.

 

14 minutes ago, bazza said:

I read an article a long time ago about two American scientists, one an astronomer and the other an anthropologist who together set out to demonstrate that life could exist elsewhere in the universe. Amazingly they came to the conclusion that there probably wasn't because this planet and its set up is likely to be a complete freak; an entity that really should not exist according to the laws of the universe as they saw it.

I know, I know.................a load of baloney but their conclusion amazed me.

Calculating whether complex alien life should or shouldn't exist generally uses something called the Drake Equation. It depends on things like how many stars there are, how many planets are around an average star, how many of those planets could support the conditions for life, how likely life is to emerge when the potential conditions are there, how likely it is to evolve into complex life, and if we're talking about contact with aliens, how likely complex life is to become intelligent life and survive long enough to develop interstellar travel.

We know very little about...pretty much all of those. We don't even have an exact count of stars in the Milky Way, and are probably a long way from even that. But the more we know the more we can narrow it down, and we are finding many stars have planets in large numbers, we're not a freak in that sense. Anyway Bazza your two scientists seem to differ from the majority of the scientific community who care about this. Most conclude it's inevitable there is life, and a large study a few years back determined there were likely to be something like 50-60 alien civilisations in the Milky Way at a given time. Most think other life exists in our galaxy, and it existing in one of the other potentially trillions of galaxies becomes almost inevitable with most data you could input to the Drake Equation.

You can actually have a play with the Drake Equation yourself, here is one version but you can find others with different factors to input:

https://foothillastrosims.github.io/Drake-equation/

Remember on this one you're putting the percentage that applies to the factor above, so when you pick a percent for 'Fraction with habitable planets', you've already eliminated the stars that have no planets in the one above, so it's the percent of stars with a habitable planet from amongst the stars that have any planets at all, rather than the percent of stars that have habitable planets altogether. Hope that makes sense...so on mine just now I decided half the stars which can support life have at least one planet, then decided 1% of THOSE have a planet which is habitable.

I just entered: 250 billion stars (the default on this, and a feasible number), 50%, 50%, 3%, 20%, 10%, 2%, 0.1%. Quite small percentages, and I got 'there are 750 high-tech civilisations in our galaxy right now'. Although I'm probably being very generous with that last figure (what percent are still around) due to the massive age of the Milky Way, and probably under-estimating my first percent (how many stars have planets).

The question of 'Why, if advanced alien life exists in our galaxy, we haven't met it' is called the Fermi Paradox, and has a ton of valid explanations, of which I reckon a bunch are genuine factors. We probably wouldn't ever meet life from another galaxy btw, as apart from our own satellite galaxies, they're VERY VERY far off. Even Star Trek technology (many times the speed of light) wouldn't be good enough.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

39 minutes ago, bazza said:

That last sentence.......I have often thought the same.

As to "a God of some sort"I cannot help but look at the natural world here on Earth and marvel at its design and its workings and its beauty; something structural in the midst of chaos. Look at the DNA helix formation.

Also science can detect, explain and demonstrate matter and energy but it cannot do the same for things such as love or hate. You can measure electricity but you cannot measure love. You can see the effects of love or hate but not measure them. 

Anyway, as you say, this is more for WDWY forum.

Think I can discuss this a bit without really going onto religion. The structure of things is astonishing and beautiful, and does give me pause for thought at times. However there are experiments that demonstrate how order can arise from chaos, in fact it becomes inevitable after enough time. Richard Dawkins wrote about it in one of his books.

As for love and hate, we can't measure them (currently anyway 😛 ) mostly because in the strictest sense, we made them up. We define them ourselves, they're not really a scientific quantity. In a slightly broader sense, they do exist, as we define them, but they are the result of incredibly complex biological interactions, which would likely be calculable if we had sufficiently sophisticated technology and understanding. But taking our current level, just because something can't be measured doesn't mean it's not real, and doesn't mean it can't be explained rationally without the need for...let's call it a supernatural explanation. Love, hate, all other emotions, evolved along with us and our complex brains. They serve survival purposes. Love helps breed unity in communities and just, ya know, breeding and child-rearing, and hate helps us crush our enemies. Both very important as humanity started to rise.

I think it's our modern world, so different to the world we inhabited during most of our evolution, that sometimes doesn't mesh with these emotions very well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The expression "The elephant in the room" is often associated with Rovers' owners.

However in this case I and millions of others can see the elephant in the room, Bruce. You and millions of others cannot see it. I fully expect you to reply that it is you who see it and I don't. Fair enough.

We shall have to agree to disagree or, rather, admit we don't see eye to eye. I'm going to leave it there. I wish you well.

P.S. I admire your scientific knowledge. Astronomy is fascinating.

 

Edited by bazza
Link to comment
Share on other sites

and when earth dies, there will be nothing. Truly nothing.

except for the stars and the planets, but no one will ever see them, no one will ever know they existed. No one will know we existed.

Edited by den
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, den said:

and when earth dies, there will be nothing. Truly nothing.

except for the stars and the planets, but no one will ever see them, no one will ever know they existed. No one will know we existed.

Heavy, man 😱

Edited by DeeCee
Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, bazza said:

The expression "The elephant in the room" is often associated with Rovers' owners.

However in this case I and millions of others can see the elephant in the room, Bruce. You and millions of others cannot see it. I fully expect you to reply that it is you who see it and I don't. Fair enough.

We shall have to agree to disagree or, rather, admit we don't see eye to eye. I'm going to leave it there. I wish you well.

P.S. I admire your scientific knowledge. Astronomy is fascinating.

 

(Hoping none of this triggers the mods, I'm only mentioning religious stuff passingly and in reference to how it relates to the sciency stuff...no offence nor argument is intended)

Well, I got A* for RE at school and 97% on my Philosophy of Religion module at A-level, so yeh I do feel confident about the nature of the elephant. But that doesn't mean I know for sure and there are many secrets in the universe, so who knows. You're talking about the teleological argument (the argument from design), and in fairness it's one of the better arguments. Heavily covered by scholars on both sides of the debate and well worth reading up on if you're interested in such things. Obviously we're not allowed to go over it here, so agreeing to disagree is cool. I don't really have the patience for that debate I used to have anyway, nobody ever, ever changes their mind on it even when they acknowledge they have no counter-argument.

Anyway bringing it back towards the science side, something I've reflected on more in recent years along these lines... as we know, the universe is unfathomably vast. There may well be multiverses too. You'll all have heard the argument that if there are multiverses and existence is infinite, everything that is possible must happen somewhere (a lot of sci-fi films and shows with parallel universes use this). Our level of understanding is still extremely primitive by the standards of what there is out there to be known. If it is all infinite, super-advanced life must emerge somewhere, and may have learnt nearly everything there is to have learnt and developed insane technologies we don't think are possible. Whilst I don't believe in the version of God presented in monotheistic faiths on Earth, there's the famous old Arthur C. Clarke quote of 'Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic'.

What I'm saying is, within all this vastness, something could have emerged, through evolution and technological progress, so powerful that what it's capable of would be indistinguishable from a God, or Gods. Alien life could exist on a level that it controls much of what we do, or even creates whole universe. There's a whole branch of scientific speculation about this too, really. Something called the Kardashev scale, which defines civilisations by their ability to harness the energy of first their planet (like we do) then their solar system or star, then a whole galaxy, and potentially a whole universe. Quite crazy interesting stuff. In fact here's a cool video by my fave YouTube channel about it:

"What we know is a drop, what we don't know is an ocean." - popularised version of a quote attributed to Isaac Newton

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, den said:

and when earth dies, there will be nothing. Truly nothing.

except for the stars and the planets, but no one will ever see them, no one will ever know they existed. No one will know we existed.

If it really is only us out there. I find that really hard to believe, and it would be so sad if it's true.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, bazza said:

Nice video about the Kardashev Scale. Narrator sounded like Pat Condell.

Dunno who that is, but I think the narrator is terrific. As well as the animations and the information, which they research heavily. Fantastic channel, well worth checking out their other videos. All sorts of science stuff, but also a few about mental health, and some stories, my favourite of which I'll post in a bit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.