The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) team released the most incredible images of the brightest supernova star for 420 years in August.
The stunning images show the remains of a star that exploded some 36 years ago, according to LiveScience. The photographs were captured on the telescope’s Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam), which revealed a slew of new details about this incredible activity in our cosmos, JWST’s official website explained in a statement.
The star was first identified in 1987 and was named Supernova 1987A. It’s roughly 168,000 light-years away from us here on Earth in the Large Magellanic Cloud. Prior to its explosion, the star was considered roughly 20 times bigger than our closest star, the sun.
NASA’s James Webb telescope just captured this image of a strange looking supernova out in deep space pic.twitter.com/3rSIiMmX4r
— Latest in space (@latestinspace) August 31, 2023
It’s the closest observed supernova since Kepler’s Supernova lit up our skies back in 1604, LiveScience continued. (RELATED: Scientists Have Bizarre Theory For When Aliens Might Try To Contact Us)
“Despite the decades of study since the supernova’s initial discovery, there are several mysteries that remain, particularly surrounding the neutron star that should have been formed in the aftermath of the supernova explosion,” the team wrote in the statement.
The Hubble Space Telescope previously observed as Supernova 1987A’s expansion rocked the cosmos, sending shockwaves up to 4,350 miles per second, LiveScience continued. JWST and Hubble will continue working together, along with the Chandra X-ray observatory, to continue providing new insights into this magnificent work of art within the universe.