Webb Just Saw The Farthest Star Ever And It’s Mind Blowing
The James Webb Space Telescope has marked the beginning of a new era in extragalactic astronomy. Within a few weeks of working, the infrared observatory has already discovered several candidate galaxies that challenge the big bang theory and our galactic evolution models. And now, Webb focused its instruments on the most distant isolated star known in the universe, Earendel. The light-travel distance to Earendel is 12.9 billion light years. This means that if the big bang is true, the star existed when the universe was just 900 million years old. Earendel might belong to a rare population of stars that astronomers have been hunting for over half a century.
But how did scientists discover a lone star so far away in the universe? How is Earendel different from the stars we see around? Finally, and most importantly, how do the recent James Webb observations of Earendel challenge our theories of stellar evolution?
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