23 May, 2023: Celestial monsters in the universe ? Read to know more.
The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has found the first proof that millions of enormous stars may have been hidden at the beginning of the universe. The largest stars that have been seen ever till date are about 300 times as massive as the Sun.
However, the latest study's supermassive star is thought to weigh between 5,000 and 10,000 Suns.
These enormous stars, which first appeared only 440 million years after the Big Bang, were given the nickname "celestial monsters" by scientists.
On May 5, the group of European scientists published the results of their investigation in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics.
The lead study author Corinne Charbonnel, an astronomy professor at the University of Geneva in Switzerland said, “Today, thanks to the data collected by the James Webb Space Telescope, we believe we have found the first clue of the presence of these extraordinary stars.”
These "celestial monsters" exceed the Sun by 5,000–10,000 times and are five times hotter (75 million °C) in the center.
Astronomers have been perplexed by the immense variety in the structure of various stars crammed into what are known as ‘globular clusters’ for decades. Nearly all galaxies have ‘globular clusters’, and the Milky Way contains at least 180 of them. The biggest stars in the cosmos can be found in some of these clusters, which may provide insights into the early universe. It has been difficult to find these enormous stars, though. Their lifespans are quite limited.
The astronomers focused the JWST's infrared camera on the galaxy GN-z11, one of the oldest and most distant galaxies ever found, resting 13.3 billion light-years from Earth, in order to find the chemical waste left behind by the ancient ‘monsters’ as they term it.