September 28, 2022
James Webb Space Telescope

The Search for God

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James Webb space telescope will begin transmitting images back to Earth in July

After its launch on Christmas Eve on top a European Space Agency Ariane 5 rocket, the James Webb space telescope deployed its five layer sunshield which cleared a major path for it to become fully operational in six months. With 75 percent completion the super telescope will begin transmitting images back to Earth at the end of June.

In the next few weeks, the James Webb will start operating its mirrors and instruments which is six times more powerful than the Hubble space telescope launched in 1990. With its infra-red optics it will be able to find the first galaxies that formed the early universe and gaze through star dust to see planetary systems forming.  

This Hubble image shows how young, energetic, massive stars illuminate and sculpt their birthplace with powerful winds and searing ultraviolet radiation. In this Hubble portrait, the giant red nebula (NGC 2014) and its smaller blue neighbor (NGC 2020) are part of a vast star-forming region in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way, located 163,000 light-years away. The image is nicknamed the “Cosmic Reef,” because it resembles an undersea world. The sparkling centerpiece of NGC 2014 is a grouping of bright, hefty stars, each 10 to 20 times more massive than our Sun. The stars’ ultraviolet radiation heats the surrounding dense gas. The massive stars also unleash fierce winds of charged particles that blast away lower-density gas, forming the bubble-like structures seen on the right. The stars’ powerful stellar winds are pushing gas and dust to the denser  left side of the nebula, where it is piling up, creating a series of dark ridges bathed in starlight. The blue areas in NGC 2014 reveal the glow of oxygen, heated to nearly 20,000 degrees Fahrenheit by the blast of ultraviolet light. The cooler, red gas indicates the presence of hydrogen and nitrogen. By contrast, the seemingly isolated blue nebula at lower left (NGC 2020) has been created by a solitary mammoth star 200,000 times brighter than our Sun. The blue gas  was ejected by the star through a series of eruptive events during which it lost part of its outer envelope of material. The image, taken by Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3, commemorates the Earth-orbiting observatory’s 30 years in space.

Stephen Meyer, director of the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, wrote in an editorial for the Federalist. “If the physical universe of matter, energy, space and time had a beginning—as observational astronomy and theoretical physics increasingly suggest—it becomes extremely difficult to conceive of any physical or materialistic cause for the origin of the universe. After all, it was matter and energy that first came into existence at the big bang. Before that, no matter or energy—no physics—would have yet existed that could have caused the universe to begin. Instead, whatever caused the universe to originate must not have been material and must exist beyond space and time. It must further have been capable of initiating a great change of state, from nothing to everything that exists.” 

The Hubble space telescope provided evidence that light was the first thing in the universe and that the universe is expanding. Based on such discoveries, Tulane University cosmologist Frank Tipler noted, “Genesis tells us that there was a beginning and that after the beginning, light was the first created thing—exactly what modern astrophysics confirms.” Nobel laureate Arno Penzias said, “The best data we have are exactly what I would have predicted, had I nothing to go on but the five books of Moses, the Psalms, the Bible as a whole.”

The James Webb space telescope built at the cost of US$ 10 billion is named after James E. Webb, who was the administrator of NASA from 1961 to 1968 and played an integral role in the Apollo program that took America to the moon and back. Why 10 billion dollars was spent on such and expensive space program Space.com explains “We’re planning to investigate the nature of dark energy in the universe, and understand the nature of these very old objects. And characterizing planets around other suns puts us on the path to finding out if there’s another Earth out there.” The Webb will also assist in the hunt for exoplanets, something that Hubble still does but was not designed for.”

Source Reuters Space.com NASA Hubble

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