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Webb Telescope Discovers Supernovae Debris ‘Potential Fuel for Early Universe ‘

Webb Space Telescope recent observations of two supernovae, SN 2004et and SN 2017eaw, in the Fireworks Galaxy (NGC 6946) have revealed that these explosive stellar deaths eject dust into space.

This discovery suggests that these violent events can potentially give rise to the formation of new star systems.

While astronomers have known that supernovae release dust into space, it has been challenging to directly link this dust to the formation of new stars.

However, Webb telescope Mid-Infrared instrument captured images of the two supernovae, providing evidence of dust reservoirs.

Previous direct evidence of this phenomenon was limited to a nearby supernova, SN 1987A, located 170,000 light-years away.

But thanks to Webb sensitive capabilities at mid-infrared wavelengths enabled to detect the dust formed when the gas cools down during the explosion.

The research team found a substantial amount of dust surrounding the supernovae, with SN 2004et alone containing 5,000 times the mass of Earth in dust.

This is the highest dust mass detected in a supernova since SN 1987A.

Webb telescope ability to observe dying and dead stars, combined with data from other telescopes like Hubble, Spitzer, and Chandra X-ray Observatory, enhances our understanding of cosmic events and phenomena.

These findings are part of the science program GO 2666, titled “Are Supernovae Dust Factories?”

The future observations of the remaining three targets will provide further insights into this fascinating process.