The James Webb Space Telescope continues to reveal genuine wonders hidden in the depths of space. Launched in December 2021, this “eye in space” allows us to glimpse corners of deep space where all sorts of questions hide for space science. Questions that, at least on this occasion, are quite literal.
In an image published on June 26 by the James Webb team at the European Space Agency (ESA), we were able to see two young stars located 1470 light-years away from Earth that are actively forming. While this image is already a marvel in itself, it also hides a small “Easter egg.”
Right at the bottom of the photograph, we can observe an object in the exact shape of a red question mark symbol (❓) that is situated far in the background. Although it appears quite small in the image, this cosmic element is as large as the mystery that surrounds it.
For now, it’s not entirely clear what it could be, although scientists have some ideas. “It’s likely a distant galaxy, or galaxies in possible interaction,” representatives from the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, which manages the scientific operations of the James Webb Telescope, told Space.com.
“This might be the first time we’re seeing this particular object,” STScI adds. “Further follow-up would be needed to conclusively determine what it is. Webb is showing us many new and distant galaxies – so there’s plenty of new science to be done!”
In just this past month, the James Webb has unveiled remarkable images of the universe, including the Ring Nebula, three suspected “dark stars,” the oldest known supermassive black hole, and an exoplanet dotted with volcanoes that could potentially harbor water. What new wonders will this telescope reveal to us next?
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