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James Webb will help study the first stars in the universe

James Webb will help study the first stars in the universe

The first stars in the universe are older than the first galaxies, forming about 50 to 100 million years after the Big Bang. It is known that these celestial bodies ended the dark ages of the universe, but knowledge about them is still rare.

The lack of information about the first stars in the universe was one of the motivations for building the James Webb Space Telescope, as explained in a recent article in Universe Today. This is because it has excellent light for making infrared observations, and in this way, the telescope was able to determine the locations of some of the first galaxies in the universe.

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Now, the goal of astronomers is to discover the first stars, as shown in the new study conducted by the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Uppsala University (Sweden) titled “Detection and characterization of highly magnified stars using the James Webb Space Telescope: Prospects for Finding Populations III“.

In this paper, the authors explain that GEMS Webb will be used to study the first stars in the universe, known as Population III, which are characterized by extremely high masses.

In this mission, the space telescope will use gravitational lensing, a distortion of space-time that allows us to see a group of very distant galaxies.

Gravitational lensing can make massive individual stars detectable down to cosmic distances, and several extremely magnified stars have been discovered in recent years.

Excerpt from the study.

As the Universe Today article explains, if James Webb could use gravitational lensing to observe the region, rather than the pretty images we've become accustomed to, it would provide important observational clues and data about an early period in the universe known as “the epoch.” Reionization” (EoR).

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