Asianet NewsableAsianet Newsable

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope uncovers mysterious cosmic 'question mark' defying explanation - Picture

Explore the baffling discovery by NASA's James Webb Space Telescope—a cosmic 'question mark' in space—raising intrigue and theories among scientists and space enthusiasts alike.

NASA James Webb Space Telescope uncovers mysterious cosmic 'question mark' defying explanation - Picture snt
First Published Aug 9, 2023, 6:51 PM IST

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has unveiled a puzzling cosmic phenomenon, resembling a colossal 'question mark' in space, leaving scientists bewildered. The telescope, operated by the European Space Agency, captured a highly detailed image in June, revealing two actively forming young stars known as Herbig-Haro 46/47, situated approximately 1470 light-years away in the Vela Constellation. The stars are enveloped by a feeding disk, nurturing their growth over millions of years.

Intriguingly, beneath the stars, within the captivating deep-space snapshot, an enigmatic object resembling a gigantic 'question mark' hung suspended against the night sky. The true nature of this oddity remains uncertain, yet experts from the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, which manages JWST's operations, suggest the 'question mark' might be a remote galaxy or a pair of galaxies entrapped within each other's gravitational embrace.

Representatives from STScI elaborated that the reddish hue of the object implies considerable distance, potentially marking the first-ever observation of this object by human eyes. They stated, "This may be the first time we've seen this particular object," emphasizing the need for further investigation to ascertain its identity and significance within the cosmic landscape.

Separately, Matt Caplan, an assistant professor of physics at Illinois State University, speculated that the object could be a result of two galaxies merging. He suggested, "The two distinct features could easily be merging galaxies in the background, with the upper part of the question mark being part of a larger galaxy getting tidally disrupted."

"Given the colour of some of the other background galaxies, this doesn't seem like the worst explanation. Despite how chaotic mergers are, double lobed objects with curvy tails extending away from them are very typical," he explained.

The captivating image of the cosmic 'question mark' has gained substantial attention on social media, sparking a mix of amusing interpretations and imaginative conspiracy theories. As users playfully dubbed it an "alien reaction" or contemplated the existence of intelligent beings beyond Earth, the viral image underscores the profound impact of space exploration on our collective imagination.

"That's the alien's reaction to what we've been doing the last few years," wrote one user. 

Another user added, "Forget the question mark for a second. I find it absolutely fascinating that this is a real small picture example of hundreds if not thousands of galaxies in outer space. Then within those galaxies are millions and billions of stars/planets. We would be fools to believe that there aren't more intelligent beings out there somewhere."

Follow Us:
Download App:
  • android
  • ios