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The James Webb Space Telescope has just celebrated its incredibly productive “first year,” lazily orbiting in its extended L-2 location … a million miles “behind” the Earth (as seen from the Sun).
What has it actually found?
Well, here’s a (partial …) list:
1) First Deep Field IR image:
Webb’s first official telescopic observation was the most detailed, “deep” (long-range) infrared image of the Universe ever created … leading eventually tro a potentially “mind blowing” conclusion ….
2) Most distant active “supermassive black hole”
3) Webb’s first “exoplanet”:
On January 11, 2023, NASA reported finding Webb’s first exoplanet, LHS 475 b, located 41 light-years away from the Earth. Webb’s transmission spectrum revealed it to be (wait for it …) an Earth-sized terrestrial world ….
4) Unprecedented IR views of Saturn
5) Equally unprecedented IR views of Jupiter
6) New, IR structural details of “asteroid belts” orbiting near-by stars
7) Earliest existence of complex “organic” molecules … in a galaxy ~12 billion light years distant
But, the biggest “discovery” of all (still to be verified across Webb’s highly anticipated Second Year …) may be that the Universe itself — based, in part, on Webb’s unique first “deep field” IR image (see above), has revealed “surprisingly mature” galaxies at an “impossibly ‘young’ Universe Age”: in fact, the Universe might be TWICE as old as astronomer have been telling us for more than 20 years — not “13.8 billion years old” … but, maybe, “26.7 billion years!”
Join us tonight … and expect even MORE surprises.
Richard C. Hoagland
Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe
Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe is an internationally acclaimed astronomer and one of the foremost pioneers of modern astrobiology. Chandra is famous for his pioneering studies on the carbonaceous nature of cosmic dust and the prevalence of extraterrestrial life. He is a recipient of several international awards and honorary doctorates and was a former Fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge and a Professor at Cardiff University for 40 years.
He is currently an Honorary Professor and Director of the Buckingham Centre for Astrobiology at the University of Buckingham, an Honorary Professor and Director of the University of Ruhuna Centre for Astrobiology Sri Lanka, Honorary Professor at the Sir John Kotelawala Defence University of Sri Lanka, Associate Professor the National Institute of Fundamental Studies, Sri Lanka. He is also a founder member of the newly-formed Institute for the Study of Panspermia and Astro-economics in Gifu, Japan. He has written over 30 books and 300 scientific papers, over 60 of these being in the journal Nature.
Why the Fury to Return to Mars?
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Journal of Cosmology, Volume 30 Contents