Enlarge (credit: Image courtesy of University of Sydney)
Today, Nature Astronomy released a paper that shows off the sorts of science the Webb Telescope was designed to produce. Early on, the new telescope was pointed at a system of two massive stars that orbit each other closely. Ground-based observations had detected a ring or two produced by the interactions of these giants; the Webb was able to determine that there are at least 17 concentric rings of material that have been put in place over the previous 130 years.
And just to show off, astronomers were able to obtain a spectrum of the material that forms the rings.
It’s difficult to express just how bizarre…