February 9, 2023

NyseNewsAnalyst

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James Webb Space Telescope sees ‘ghostly’ interstellar light

Image of the intracluster light of the cluster SMACS-J0723.3-7327 obtained with the NIRCAM camera on board of JWST. The data have been processed by the IAC team to improve the detection of the faint light between the galaxies (black and white).

The first deep field image of the universe taken by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) allowed scientists to study the faint, ghostlike light from intergalactic orphan stars in galaxy clusters.

These stars are not gravitationally bound to the galaxies, they are pulled away from their homes and drifted into intergalactic space by the enormous tidal forces generated between galaxies in clusters. The light from these stellar orphans is called intracluster light and is so faint that it has only one percent of the brightness of the darkest sky to be seen a land.