Sunday, January 22, 2023

Extraordinary Images of Gravitational Lensing: Early Universe

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Astronomy, Astrophysics, Cosmology, Nature of Science, History of Science

Ed Hessler

Webb is providing many new of opportunities never possible to make the difficult learning curve on the nature of the early universe, less formidable, accessible and understandable.

In this JWST image is an example of one, gravitational lensing, that shows what Hubble revealed as a single source of light (in an amorphous blob) to be a small group of galaxies. It also found different colors than Hubble, "indicating differences potentially in the age of dust content of these galaxies."

Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD), January 18, 2023 features the JWST image of JD objects (last two letters of its astronomical reference). There are three of them, each numbered and with a small box enclosing the objects. Be sure to click on the boxes as you read the explanation.

You may find this short explanation of gravitational lensing from NASA/ESA Hubble which refers to the predictive power of Herr Einstein's theory of general relativity.

I'm reminded almost every time I read about this kind of research of the testimony of FermiLab Director R. R. Wilson's Congressional testimony, April 1969 on the value of funding for the construction of Fermilab's first accelerator. To read the entire entire testimony and the excerpt preceding the full testimony about the value of this investment see here. At least read the excerpt at the beginning although the complete testimony is worth the time.

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