The “Cosmic Noon" Of The Universe

Sep, 2022 - By SMI

The “Cosmic Noon

Astronomers will have the chance to contrast studies of star formation in the Tarantula Nebula with the telescope's in-depth images of far-off galaxies from the real cosmic noon period thanks to Webb.

The dust in the nebula can be penetrated by longer mid-infrared wavelengths, which may eventually disclose a hitherto unrecognised cosmic environment. Shorter wavelengths cannot reach Webb for analysis because they are absorbed or refracted by the dust particles.

Astronomers are intrigued by the Tarantula Nebula in part because it has a chemical makeup with the massive star-forming areas seen at the "cosmic noon" of the universe. At that time, star creation was at its height and the universe was just a few billion years old. In contrast to the Tarantula Nebula, star-forming areas in our Milky Way galaxy do not produce stars at the same rapid rate and are chemically distinct from it. As a result, the Tarantula serves as the clearest and most detailed representation of what was occurring in the cosmos as it approached its bright high noon. 

Even after thousands of years of stargazing by humans, there are still many unanswered questions about how stars are formed. A large portion of them are the result of our prior inability to clearly see what was going on behind the dense clouds of star nurseries. Webb is only getting started with rewriting the history of stellar formation, but it has already begun to unveil a world never before seen.

The James Webb Space Telescope is the world's top space observatory for science. Webb will explore the mysterious structure, beginnings, and purpose of the universe, as well as distant worlds circling other stars beyond our solar system. In collaboration with the Canadian Space Agency and the European Space Agency, NASA is leading a global initiative known as Webb.

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