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NASA's James Webb Space Telescope has been hard at work since it started sending us images last month. By taking the deepest image of the universe and photographing the farthest galaxy in the universe, he accomplished another feat, writes Tech hindustan times.
This time the telescope took a picture of the most distant star in the universe. This star was first discovered by another space telescope, the Hubble. However, it was quite difficult to see her at the time. By comparison, Webb's image shows the star's faint red glow and star trail.
The farthest star in the universe was named Earendel after the half-elf character in the J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. Officially, the star is known as WHL0137-LS. In the image, Earendel can be seen as a tiny red speck at the bottom right of the image.
To detect the star, astronomers used a technique known as gravitational lensing. Massive celestial bodies such as galaxies and black holes distort the light emitted by objects behind them due to their gravitational fields. When this light from more distant stars passes through these massive celestial objects, it acts as if it were passing through a telescope lens and magnified. Thus, even the smallest objects that the telescope missed can be captured.
Gravity lensing increases the capabilities of space telescopes. It is for this reason that Earendel, 28 billion light-years away, was captured by both Hubble and Webb.
While not much is known about this elusive star, scientists do know that it lies in the constellation Cetus and is thought to be that the light it emits began to come out about 900 million years after the Big Bang. As for its mass, according to astronomers, it can be from 50 to 100 solar masses.