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Why was Pluto removed from the list of planets in the solar system?

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More than 17 years have passed since the demotion of Pluto from a planet to a dwarf planet, But experts and the public still debate Pluto’s status and planet definition.

Why was Pluto removed from the list of planets in the solar system?

Our understanding of the solar system changed forever on August 24, 2006. At that time, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) researchers agreed to reclassify Pluto, changing the status of this object from a planet to a dwarf planet. This decision provoked a lot of anger and caused the textbooks to be rewritten. The demotion of the former ninth planet of the solar system is still controversial after more than 17 years.

Currently, the discussion about Pluto shows the problems in defining the concept of “planet”. The International Astronomical Union defines a planet as a celestial body that orbits the Sun with a nearly spherical appearance and, in most cases, clears the vicinity of its orbit of debris from other bodies. However, this set of criteria has not been universally agreed upon.

Earth and even Jupiter, despite their large size, have not cleared many asteroids from their orbital regions. In addition, there are small worlds such as Ceres that are spherical and revolve around the Sun, and are not considered planets.

Table of Contents
  • After all, what is a planet?
  • A planetary puzzle
  • NASA’s New Horizons mission and the debate over the planet again
  • Can Pluto become a planet again?
  • What is the significance of Pluto being a planet?

Pluto’s demotion raises larger issues about how to define everybody in the solar system or even space more generally. This incident shows that science sometimes cannot divide objects into easy categories; Because if the definition of planet is expanded again, it is not clear how we should evaluate the numerous non-spherical bodies that orbit the Sun. Decisions about this may even call into question the asteroid belt (the huge band of small objects between Mars and Jupiter). Or what happens if a planet somehow breaks into pieces?

The discussion about Pluto shows the problems in defining the concept of “planet”.

Meanwhile, while the Pluto debate began almost 20 years ago, many still don’t fully understand all the controversy and why Pluto lost its planetary status. But the change in the number of planets in the solar system from nine to eight (at least according to the standard IAU definition) was long in the making and highlighted one of science’s greatest strengths: the ability to change seemingly fixed definitions in light of new evidence.

After all, what is a planet?

The word planet in English (Planet) goes back to ancient times and is derived from the Greek word Planetes meaning “wandering star”. The five classical planets—Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn—are visible to the naked eye and move in strange paths across the sky compared to the much more distant background stars.

After the advent of telescopes, astronomers discovered two new planets, Uranus and Neptune. These two distant worlds are very dim and cannot be seen with the naked eye. It should be kept in mind that the discussed definition of a planet follows the Greco-Roman tradition and the definitions of the International Astronomical Union are based on it. In ancient times, the planets were observed with the naked eye all over the world and had different names in each culture.

When astronomers discovered Ceres in the asteroid belt in 1801, it was classified as a “planet” by the scientific community at the time. But the situation began to change; Because further measurements showed that Ceres is smaller than any other planet seen so far. This mass then entered a group of rocky bodies called “asteroids”, of which we now know hundreds of thousands of examples in the asteroid belt alone. Today, Ceres is known as a dwarf planet.

Comparing the size of Earth and Moon with Pluto and CharonSize comparison of Pluto and its moon Charon (bottom right) with the Moon and Earth.

Pluto was discovered and classified as a planet in 1930 (11 years after the founding of the International Astronomical Union). At the time, Clyde Tamba of the Lowell Observatory in Arizona compared photographic plates of the sky on separate nights and noticed a small spot moving back and forth across the starscape. However, the latest candidate for the ninth planet of the solar system was immediately considered a strange object. Pluto’s orbit is so elliptical, or eccentric, that it brings the object closer to the Sun than Neptune in 20 years of its 248-year journey. Pluto’s orbit is also tilted relative to the ecliptic, or the plane on which the other planets in the solar system rotate.

If Pluto is a planet, then is Eris also a planet?

In 1992, scientists discovered the first Kuiper Belt object named 1992 QB1. This small body orbits the Sun in the vicinity of Pluto and beyond the orbit of Neptune. Soon many similar objects were discovered, and a belt of small, icy worlds similar to the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter was revealed. Pluto remained the king of this region until, in July 2005, astronomers discovered the distant object Eris, which was initially thought to be even larger than Pluto.

A planetary puzzle

After the discovery of Eris, researchers had to ask themselves these questions: If Pluto is a planet, then is Eris also considered a planet? What about all those other icy bodies in the Kuiper Belt or smaller bodies in the Asteroid Belt? Where exactly is the dividing line for classifying an object as a planet? A word that once seemed straightforward and simple suddenly became strangely complicated.

Then intense debates ensued and new proposals were made to define the planet. Brian Marsden, a member of the IAU executive committee responsible for finding a new meaning for the planet, told Space.com in 2005: “Every time we think some of us are reaching a consensus, then someone says something and shows that it’s clear.” It’s not like that.”

A year later, astronomers were still nowhere near a solution, and the dilemma hung over the IAU General Assembly in Prague in 2006 like a dark cloud. At this conference, the researchers had eight days of intensive discussion and presented four different proposals. A controversial proposal would have brought the total number of planets in the solar system to 12 by adding Ceres, the largest asteroid, and Pluto’s moon, Charon.

Michael Brown, an astronomer at Caltech University and discoverer of Eris, called the proposal “complete confusion.”

Planets and dwarf planets of the solar systemThe globular objects in the Kuiper Belt (right arrows) and Ceres (left arrow) are now called dwarf planets.

Near the end of the conference, the remaining 424 astronomers voted to create three new classifications for objects in the solar system. From then on, only Mercury and Neptune and the large worlds in between were considered planets. Then Pluto and its counterparts (globular bodies that shared the proximity of their orbits with other bodies) were called dwarf planets. All other objects that orbit the Sun are known as minor solar system bodies.

NASA’s New Horizons mission and the debate over the planet again

A group of experts did not take the decision of their colleagues seriously. Alan Stern, the senior researcher of NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, which passed by Pluto in 2015, regretted the demotion of the former ninth planet of the solar system and said that less than five percent of the world’s 10,000 astronomers participated in the International Astronomical Union vote.

Read More: Ceres, the closest dwarf planet to Earth

New Horizons was considered an important turning point in the planetary debate. The spacecraft’s quick flyby of Pluto revealed a world far more dynamic than anyone imagined. Large mountains, impact craters, and signs of liquid nitrogen flowing on the surface all suggest a world that has undergone significant geological changes since its formation. People like Stern have argued that Pluto should be considered a planet on that basis alone.

New Horizons was considered an important turning point in the planetary debate

Images taken from Pluto’s moon Charon also show a very dynamic place; Including the red cap on its pole, which apparently changes its appearance with the slow seasonal change in the solar system. Most importantly, Pluto has several moons; While Mercury and Venus, the two inner planets of the solar system, do not have even one moon. Many asteroids and dwarf planets also have moons, complicating the definition of a planet.

An artist's rendering of the New Horizons spacecraft over PlutoNew Horizons is the only spacecraft that has ever had a close encounter with Pluto.

Many people share views with Stern and other like-minded experts. In 2014, shortly before New Horizons flew past Pluto, experts at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, debated different definitions of the planet. Owen Gingerich, a science historian who chairs the IAU’s Planet Definition Committee, stated that “planet is a culturally defined term that changes over time.” But most of the audience watching the CfA debate opted for a different definition that would have put Pluto back among the planets.

Alternative classification schemes continue to be proposed. A 2017 proposal defined a planet as “a spherical body in space that is smaller than a star.” This definition makes Pluto a planet again; But it does the same with Earth’s moon, as well as many other moons in the solar system, bringing the total number of officially recognized planets to 110. A year later, Stern wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post with David Greenspoon, a senior scientist at the Planetary Science Association, arguing that the International Astronomical Union’s definition was hastily adopted and problematic and that astronomers should rethink their ideas.

Can Pluto become a planet again?

Numerous requests from experts have so far been ignored, and the International Astronomical Union is unlikely to address the dispute anytime soon. “The simple fact is that Pluto was misclassified at the time of discovery,” wrote American astrophysicist Ethan Siegel in response to Stern and Greenspoon. “This crime has never been in the same position as the other eight worlds.”

Michael Brown also says: “As a result, Pluto is still not a planet, and in fact it never was.” We just got it wrong for 50 years and now we know better. Missing Pluto is not really a very good argument. “The reality is something else and we have to deal with it.”

What is the significance of Pluto being a planet?

The Sun and the planets of the solar system opposite Pluto

These days, children who weren’t even born when Pluto was a planet, ask what the definition of a planet even matters. Why do we have to discuss whether Pluto is a planet or not? Astronomers say there’s no simple answer, and we may have to look beyond our own solar system to understand what makes an object a planet or not.

More than five thousand exoplanets or worlds beyond the solar system have been discovered so far. This vast collection ranges from Earth-sized “super-Earths” to Uranus and “hot Jupiters” orbiting their star closely, to a range of worlds of other sizes. The types of planetary environments that must be considered are changing rapidly.

It seems unlikely that the International Astronomical Union will address the Pluto controversy anytime soon

What the increasing knowledge of the types of exoplanets shows us is that each star system may have its own unique environment. Although it can be said more generally that stars can form planets from the collapse of gas and dust in their environment, the unique dynamics that control the process of planet formation are much more complex. For example, are multiple stars involved in this process? How much dust is there? Is there a black hole or supernova that will destroy the precious dust and gas needed to grow planets?

Even if planets are lucky enough to grow large, how they interact with other planets early in their formation is poorly understood. The worlds interact with each other, and the mutual gravitational effect between them causes the planets to move away from their parent star, close to it, or in some cases, fall out of the system altogether.

What all these explanations suggest is that our definition of a planet should probably be more contextual to account for the number of possible scenarios for the formation of universes. Perhaps the planets depend on a specific formation condition or specific regions. All we seem to know for sure is that as more and more data is collected, the planet’s definition and the debate that Pluto has sparked will continue for some time to come.

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Black holes may be the source of mysterious dark energy

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The expansion of black holes in the universe can be a sign of the presence of dark energy at the center of these cosmic giants. The force that drives the growth of the world.

Black holes may be the source of mysterious dark energy

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According to new research, supermassive black holes may carry the engines driving the universe’s expansion or mysterious dark energy. The existence of dark energy has been proven based on the observation of stars and galaxies, but so far no one has been able to find out its nature and source.

The familiar matter around us makes up only 5% of everything in the universe. The remaining 27% of the universe is made up of dark matter, which does not absorb or emit any light. On the other hand, a large part of the universe, or nearly 68% of it consists of dark energy.

According to new evidence, black holes may be the source of dark energy that is accelerating the expansion of the universe. This research is the result of the work of 17 astronomers in nine countries, which was conducted under the supervision of the University of Hawaii. British researchers from Raleigh Space, England’s Open University, and King’s College London collaborated in this research.

Black hole accretion pillAn artist’s rendering of a supermassive black hole complete with a fiery accretion disk.

By comparing supermassive black holes spanning 9 billion years of the universe’s history, researchers have found a clue that the greedy giant objects at the heart of most galaxies could be the source of dark energy. The articles of this research were published in The Astrophysical Journal and The Astrophysical Journal Letters on February 2 and 15. Chris Pearson, one of the authors of the study and an astrophysicist at the Appleton Rutherford Laboratory (RAL) in the UK says:

If the theory of this research is correct, it could revolutionize the whole of cosmology, because at least we have found a solution to the origin of dark energy, which has puzzled cosmologists and theoretical physicists for more than twenty years.

The theory that black holes can carry something called vacuum energy (an embodiment of dark energy) is not new, and the discussion of its theory actually goes back to the 1960s; But the new research assumes that dark energy (and therefore the mass of black holes) increases over time as the universe expands. Researchers have shown how much of the universe’s dark energy can be attributed to this process. According to the findings, black holes could hold the answer to the total amount of dark energy in the current universe. The result of this puzzle can solve one of the most fundamental problems of modern cosmology.

Rapid expansion

Our universe began with the Big Bang about 13.7 billion years ago. The energy from this explosion of space once caused the universe to expand so rapidly that all the galaxies were moving away from each other at breakneck speed. However, astronomers expected the rate of this expansion to slow down due to the gravitational influence of all the matter in the universe. This attitude toward the world prevailed until the 1990s; That is when the Hubble Space Telescope made a strange discovery. Observations of distant exploding stars have shown that in the past the universe was expanding at a slower rate than it is now.

Therefore, contrary to the previous idea, not only the expansion of the universe has not slowed down due to gravity, but it is increasing and speeding up. This result was very unexpected and astronomers sought to justify it. Thus, it was assumed that “dark energy” pushes objects away from each other with great power. The concept of dark energy was very similar to a cosmic constant proposed by Albert Einstein that opposes gravity and prevents the universe from collapsing but was later rejected.

Stellar explosions

But what exactly is dark energy? The answer to this question seems to lie in another cosmic mystery: black holes. Black holes are usually born when massive stars explode and die. The gravity and pressure in these intense explosions compress a large amount of material into a small space. For example, a star roughly the same mass as the Sun can be compressed into a space of only a few tens of kilometers.

The gravitational pull of a black hole is so strong that even light cannot escape it and everything is attracted to it. At the center of the black hole is a space called singularity, where matter reaches the point of infinite density. The point is that singularities should not exist in nature.

Speed ​​up dark energyDark energy explains why the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate.

Black holes at the center of galaxies are much more massive than black holes from the death of stars. The mass of galactic “massive” black holes can reach millions to billions of times the mass of the Sun. All black holes increase in size by accreting matter and swallowing nearby stars or merging with other black holes; Therefore, we expect these objects to become larger as they age. In the latest paper, researchers investigated the supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies and found that the mass of these objects has increased over billions of years.

Fundamental revision

The researchers compared the past and present observations of elliptical galaxies that lack the star formation process. These dead galaxies have used up all their fuel, and as a result, their increase in the number of black holes over time cannot be attributed to normal processes that involve the growth of black holes by accreting matter.

Instead, the researchers suggested that these black holes actually carry vacuum energy, which has a direct relationship with the expansion of the universe, so as the universe expands, their mass also increases.

Black hole visualizationVisualization of a black hole that could play a fundamental role in dark energy.

Revealing dark energy

Two groups of researchers compared the mass of black holes at the center of two sets of galaxies. They were a young, distant cluster of galaxies with lights originating nine billion years ago, while the closer, older group was only a few million light-years away. Astronomers found that supermassive black holes have grown between seven and twenty times larger than before so this growth cannot be explained simply by swallowing stars or colliding and merging with other black holes.

As a result, it was hypothesized that black holes are probably growing along with the universe, and with a type of hypothetical energy known as dark energy or vacuum that leads to their expansion, they overcome the forces of light absorption and destruction of the stars in their center.

If dark energy is expanding inside the core of black holes, it can solve two long-standing puzzles of Einstein’s general relativity; A theory that shows how gravity affects the universe on massive scales. The new finding firstly proves how the universe does not fall apart due to the overwhelming force of gravity, and secondly, it eliminates the need for singularities (points of infinity where the laws of physics are violated) to describe the workings of the dark heart of black holes.

To confirm their findings, astronomers need more observations of the mass of black holes over time, and at the same time, they need to examine the increase in mass as the universe expands.

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Scientists’ understanding of dark energy may be completely wrong

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The standard model of cosmology says that the strength of dark energy should be constant, But inconclusive findings suggest that this force may have weakened.

Scientists’ understanding of dark energy may be completely wrong

On April 4th, astronomers who created the largest and most detailed 3D map ever made of the universe announced that they may have found a major flaw in their understanding of dark energy, the mysterious force driving the universe’s expansion.

Dark energy has been postulated as a stable force in the universe, both in the current era and throughout the history of the universe; But new data suggests that dark energy may be more variable, getting stronger or weaker over time, reversing or even disappearing.

Adam Reiss, an astronomer at Johns Hopkins University and the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, who was not involved in the new study, was quoted by the New York Times as saying, “The new finding may be the first real clue we’ve had in 25 years about the nature of dark energy.” In 2011, Reiss won the Nobel Prize in Physics along with two other astronomers for the discovery of dark energy.

The recent conclusion, if confirmed, could save astronomers and other scientists from predicting the ultimate fate of the universe. If the dark energy has a constant effect over time, it will eventually push all the stars and galaxies away from each other so much that even the atoms may disintegrate and the universe and all life in it, light, and energy will be destroyed forever. Instead, it appears that dark energy can change course and steer the universe toward a more fruitful future.

Dark energy may become stronger or weaker, reverse or even disappear over time

However, nothing is certain. The new finding has about a 1 in 400 chance of being a statistical coincidence. More precisely, the degree of certainty of a new discovery is three sigma, which is much lower than the gold standard for scientific discoveries called five sigma or one in 1.7 million. In the history of physics, even five-sigma events have been discredited when more data or better interpretations have emerged.

The recent discovery is considered an initial report and has been published as a series of articles by the group responsible for an international project called “Dark Energy Spectroscopy Instrument” or DESI for short. The group has just begun a five-year effort to create a three-dimensional map of the positions and velocities of 40 million galaxies over the 11 billion-year history of the universe. The researchers made their initial map based on the first year of observations of just six million galaxies. The results were presented April 4 at the American Physical Society meeting in Sacramento, California, and at a conference in Italy.

“So far we’re seeing initial consistency with our best model of the universe,” DESI director Michael Levy said in a statement released by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the center overseeing the project. “But we also see some potentially interesting differences that may indicate the evolution of dark energy over time.”

“The DESI team didn’t expect to find the treasure so soon,” Natalie Palanque-Delaberville, an astrophysicist at Lawrence Berkeley Lab and project spokeswoman, said in an interview. The first year’s results were designed solely to confirm what we already knew. “We thought we would basically approve the standard model.” But the unknowns appeared before the eyes of the researchers.

The researchers’ new map is not fully compatible with the standard model

When the scientists combined their map with other cosmological data, they were surprised to find that it didn’t completely fit the Standard Model. This model assumes that dark energy is stable and unchanging; While variable dark energy fits the new data. However, Dr. Palanque-Delaberville sees the new discovery as an interesting clue that has not yet turned into definitive proof.

University of Chicago astrophysicist Wendy Friedman, who led the scientific effort to measure the expansion of the universe, described the team’s results as “tremendous findings that have the potential to open a new window into understanding dark energy.” As the dominant force in the universe, dark energy remains the greatest mystery in cosmology.

Imaging the passage of quasar light through intergalactic clouds
Artistic rendering of quasar light passing through intergalactic clouds of hydrogen gas. This light provides clues to the structure of the distant universe.
NOIRLab/NSF/AURA/P. Marenfeld and DESI collaboration

The idea of ​​dark energy was proposed in 1998; When two competing groups of astronomers, including Dr. Rees, discovered that the rate of expansion of the universe was increasing rather than decreasing, contrary to what most scientists expected. Early observations seemed to show that dark energy behaved just like the famous ” fudge factor ” denoted by the Greek letter lambda. Albert Einstein included lambda in his equations to explain why the universe does not collapse due to its own gravity; But later he called this action his biggest mistake.

However, Einstein probably judged too soon. Lambda, as formulated by Einstein, was a property of space itself: as the universe expands, the more space there is, the more dark energy there is, which pushes ever harder, eventually leading to an unbridled, lightless future.

Dark energy was placed in the standard model called LCDM, consisting of 70% dark energy (lambda), 25% cold dark matter (a collection of low-speed alien particles), and 5% atomic matter. Although this model has now been discredited by the James Webb Space Telescope , it still holds its validity. However, what if dark energy is not as stable as the cosmological model assumes?

The problem is related to a parameter called w, a special measure for measuring the density or intensity of dark energy. In Einstein’s version of dark energy, the value of this parameter remains constant negative one throughout the life of the universe. Cosmologists have used this value in their models for the past 25 years.

Albert Einstein included lambda in his equations to explain why the universe is collapsing under its own gravity.

But Einstein’s hypothesis of dark energy is only the simplest version. “With the Desi project we now have the precision that allows us to go beyond that simple model to see if the dark energy density is constant over time or if it fluctuates and evolves over time,” says Dr. Palanque-Delabreville.

The Desi project, 14 years in the making, is designed to test the stability of this energy by measuring the expansion rate of the universe at different times in the past. In order to do this, scientists equipped one of the telescopes of the Keith Peak National Observatory in Arizona, USA, with five thousand optical fiber detectors that can perform spectroscopy on a large number of galaxies at the same time to find out how fast they are moving away from Earth.

The researchers used fluctuations in the cosmic distribution of galaxies, known as baryonic acoustic variations , as a measure of distance. The sound waves in the hot plasma accumulated in the universe, when it was only 380,000 years old, carved the oscillations on the universe. At that time, the oscillations were half a million light years across. 13.5 billion years later, the universe has expanded a thousandfold, and the oscillations, now 500 million light-years across, serve as convenient rulers for cosmic measurements.

Desi scientists divided the last 11 billion years of the universe into 7 time periods and measured the size of the fluctuations and the speed of the galaxies in them moving away from us and from each other. When the researchers put all the data together, they found that the assumption that dark energy is constant does not explain the expansion of the universe. Galaxies appeared closer than they should be in the last three periods; An observation that suggests dark energy may be evolving over time.

“We’re actually seeing a clue that the properties of dark energy don’t fit a simple cosmological constant, and instead may have some deviations,” says Dr. Palanque-Delaberville. However, he believes that the new finding is too weak and is not considered proof yet. Time and more data will determine the fate of dark energy and the researchers’ tested model.

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Why the James Webb telescope does not observe the beginning of the universe?

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James Webb telescope

The James Webb Space Telescope is one of the most advanced telescopes ever built. Planning to launch James Webb began more than 25 years ago, and construction efforts took more than a decade. On December 25, 2021, this telescope was launched into space and within a month it reached its final destination, 930,000 miles away from Earth. Its position in space gives it a relatively unobstructed view of the world.

Why the “James Webb” telescope does not observe the beginning of the universe?

The design of this telescope was a global effort led by NASA and aims to push the boundaries of astronomical observation with revolutionary engineering. Its mirror is huge, about 21 feet (6.5 meters) in diameter, which is about three times the size of the Hubble Space Telescope, which was launched in 1990 and is still operating.

According to SF, it’s the telescope’s mirror that allows it to gather light. James Webb is so big that it can see the faintest and most distant galaxies and stars in the universe. Its advanced instruments can reveal information about the composition, temperature, and motion of these distant cosmic bodies.

Astrophysicists constantly look back to see what stars, galaxies, and supermassive black holes looked like when their light began its journey toward Earth, and use this information to better understand their growth and evolution. For the space scientist, the James Webb Space Telescope is a window into that unknown world. How far can James Webb look into the universe and its past? The answer is about 13.5 billion years.

Time travel

A telescope does not show stars, galaxies, and exoplanets as they are. Instead, astrologers have a glimpse of how they were in the past. It takes time for light to travel through space and reach our telescope. In essence, this means that looking into space is also a journey into the past.

This is true even for objects that are quite close to us. The light you see from the sun has left about eight minutes and 20 seconds earlier. This is how long it takes for sunlight to reach the earth.

You can easily do calculations on this. All light, whether it’s sunlight, a flashlight, or a light bulb in your home, travels at a speed of 186,000 miles (approximately 300,000 kilometers) per second. This is more than 11 million miles, which is about 18 million kilometers per minute. The sun is about 93 million miles (150 million kilometers) from the earth. which brings the time of reaching the light to about eight minutes and 20 seconds.

Why the “James Webb” telescope does not observe the moment of the beginning of the universe?

But the farther something is, the longer it takes for its light to reach us. That’s why the light we see from the closest star to us other than the Sun, Proxima Centauri, dates back four years. This star is about 25 trillion miles (about 40 trillion kilometers) from Earth, so it takes a little over four years for its light to reach us.

Recently, James Webb has observed the star Earendel, which is one of the most distant stars ever discovered and the light that James Webb sees is about 12.9 billion years old.

The James Webb Space Telescope travels much further into the past than other telescopes such as the Hubble Space Telescope. For example, although Hubble can see objects 60,000 times fainter than the human eye, James Webb can see objects almost 9 times fainter than even Hubble.

Read more: How can solar storms destroy satellites so easily?

Big Bang

But is it possible to go back to the beginning of time?

Big Bang is the term used to define the beginning of the universe as we know it. Scientists believe that this happened about 13.8 billion years ago. This theory is the most accepted theory among physicists to explain the history of our universe.

However, the name is a bit misleading because it suggests that some kind of explosion, like a firework, created the universe. The Big Bang more accurately represents space that is rapidly expanding everywhere in the universe. The environment immediately after the Big Bang resembled a cosmic fog that covered the universe and made it difficult for light to pass through. Eventually, galaxies, stars, and planets began to grow.

That’s why this period is called the “Cosmic Dark Age” in the world. As the universe continued to expand, the cosmic fog began to lift and light was finally able to travel freely through space. In fact, few satellites have observed the light left over from the Big Bang some 380,000 years after it happened. These telescopes are designed to detect the glow left over from the nebula, whose light can be traced in the microwave band.

However, even 380,000 years after the Big Bang, there were no stars or galaxies. The world was still a very dark place. The cosmic dark ages did not end until several hundred million years later when the first stars and galaxies began to form.

The James Webb Space Telescope was not designed to observe the time to the moment of the Big Bang, but to see the period when the first objects in the universe began to form and emit light.

Before this time period, due to the conditions of the early universe and the lack of galaxies and stars, there was little light for the James Webb Space Telescope to observe.

By studying ancient galaxies, scientists hope to understand the unique conditions of the early universe and gain insight into the processes that helped them flourish. This includes the evolution of supermassive black holes, the life cycles of stars, and what exoplanets are made of.

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