Thumbs up for science - and combines luck, engineering, timing and patience for us to be able to see and interpret this.
It was a little more than a year ago that NASA's Hubble Space Telescope spotted the most distant star ever observed: the 12.9 billion light-years-away Earendel. Now the James Webb Space Telescope has taken its own measurements, offering an unprecedented glimpse of an object that formed within the first billion years of the …
《Hail Earendel, brightest of angels.》
The morning star ... and I suppose Lucifer :)
I was also thinking Earendel (and Elwing) from the Tolkien mythos as he sailed Vingilot into the starless void.
These images are from so far back into the dawn of creation that they might as well be the morning of the universe and this is a morning star (or bringer of light.)
Just getting my head around what these observations really mean - this is science answering questions that were until very recently the sole preserve of creation myths. Anyone whose mind is even slightly larger than a quantum fluctuation in the void must be in awe of these serendipitous images and their implications.
Waiting for them to find Velveeta, the beloved star of quick and easy dinner time and processed cheese-like products.
“In the eastern sky, Velveeta, beloved morning star of the elves and handmaid of the dawn, rose and greeted Noxzema, bringer of the flannel tongue, and clanging on her golden garbage pail, bade him make ready the winged rickshaw of Novocaine, herald of the day. Thence came rosy-eyeballed Ovaltine, she of the fluffy mouth, and lightly kissed the land east of the Seas. In other words, it was morning.”
The play 'Translations' about English cartographers mapping Ireland raises the point that people in different places often have different names for teh same geographical features, and deciding which name to put on the map can be problematical. In Hemel Hempstead, where I grew up, there is a road at one end called 'Red Lion Lane', but it has a different name at the other end (I forget what now, it has been a while).
It is interesting to see what names astronomers give to new discoveries. Tolkien's fantasy world still provides much inspiration, but I wonder if I can look forward to the next few decades when we'll have stars and nebulae named after Discworld (R) characters.
The star is 12.8B light years from us - in today’s money.
But what we see is not 12.9B years old - otherwise the universe would need to be around 26B years old, whereas accepted values are around 13B
So what are we seeing and where was it at the time of the light that reaches us ?
There are no doubt a whole set of differential equations to do for which I am no longer equipped