Are we alone in the universe? Scarlin Hernandez responds

Six months after departure, the James Webb Telescope The world began to see never-before-seen images of space. These first views represented a new era in astronomy, allowing us to see the depths of the universe from the ground.

To find out more about what these images mean, we spoke Scarlett HernandezThe Dominican Aerospace Engineer The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), along with a larger team, developed the codes as part of the command and control systems. James Webb TelescopeThe most advanced ever built.

What do the first images revealed by the DL-telescope mean?

SH The first images presented by President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris show the deep field of galaxies, and in fact, it’s the deepest picture we’ve taken of the universe to date. There are thousands of stars in that single image. If you look at the sky from here and stretch your hand towards this area, you can understand that it is the size of a grain of sand.

So it is very small. 100 years ago, we thought that we were the only galaxy, and now we see through this telescope, the truth is that the universe is super full, it is not a big void as we believe or thought, personally, I. The first time I saw these pictures, there was no doubt that we could not be alone in the universe, it was practically impossible. And I want to emphasize that this is my opinion, not NASA’s.

DL—What have you been able to find within these galaxies?

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SH The second image is spectroscopy of a galaxy 3.1 billion years away, and in that galaxy we were able to detect hydrogen, neon, and oxygen, which are the elements we know to be on our Earth.

The exoplanet spectrum is the first we have taken of the most detailed measurements of transmitted light from an exoplanet.

We were also able to analyze the structure of the exoplanet’s atmosphere, which points to water vapor, so we can definitely see that this exoplanet has water, and this ability will help us search for habitable planets in the years to come. .

DL – What does the black hole in the picture represent?

SH We can see the black hole, at first we thought it was the only galaxy with a black hole at its center, now we think all galaxies have a black hole at their center. We also think that such groups of galaxies were very common in the early universe.

If hot material falls into them, it can fuel black holes, which are very energetic, and that’s something we study.

“Now I’m convinced that we can find things we don’t know about with telescopes.”Scarlett HernandezAerospace engineer at NASA

Could the DL-telescope detect life on other planets?

SH We’ve shown that we can actually study the composition of matter, particularly the physical and chemical properties of our planets or their atmospheres, and if that day comes, we might find a sign of life. , which will take a long time to verify because it will be new to us, native to what we have never seen. With the ability of the telescope, I suppose, but the truth is, we’ve never discovered life, and we don’t know how it will show up in detectors. No one knows what it will look like. We don’t know what to find out.

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DL—When can we see new images of the universe again?

SH More images and data come out of the telescope every week. Now I am convinced that with this telescope we can find things that we do not know.


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Bachelor of Social Communication, Master of Journalism from the University of Puerto Rico. He currently coordinates the Diario Libre USA section, specializing in Dominican diaspora and US issues.

Misty Tate

"Freelance twitter advocate. Hardcore food nerd. Avid writer. Infuriatingly humble problem solver."

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