Is Universe Infinite ? Existence of Life beyond Earth

Is Universe Infinite
Is Universe Infinite

James Webb Telescope

Recently, NASA put the images taken by James Webb Telescope in the public domain. These are truly mesmerising, unprecedented photos, which tell us interesting things about the universe. One of these photos gives us the oldest glimpse of the universe. We can see 13.1 billion years into the past. In another, we discovered an alien exoplanet where water, or H2O, has been found. 

“The James Webb Space Telescope is the largest and most powerful space science telescope ever built.” “Every image is a new discovery. And each will give humanity a view of the universe that we’ve never seen before.” “So Webb is able to look at the formation of the first stars and the first galaxies.

The Webb is tremendously exciting.” “Light from other worlds, orbiting stars, far beyond our own. It’s astounding me in many ways.” , this telescope cost about $10 billion. It took NASA 25 years to work out its design and development. And most interestingly, the spot where this telescope is located currently, it is operating at a temperature of -266.75°C. It is so cold that it is almost at the absolute zero temperature of -273°C, temperature cannot fall beyond that. It is only a few degrees warmer than that.

To maintain this temperature, the James Webb Space Telescope doesn’t orbit around Earth, like the Hubble Space Telescope. Rather, it orbits around the Sun. About 1.5 million km from Earth, there’s a point known as the L2 Point, there’s it is always in the Earth’s shadow, in a way that it can safely orbit the Sun. To block out the rest of sunlight, a sun shield has been attached behind it.

It’s nearly as big as a tennis court. Do you know what is the focal length of this telescope? Those of you who use DSLR cameras as a hobby would know the lens of those cameras usually has the focal length somewhere around 24mm, 35mm or 50mm. The focal length of the James Webb Space Telescope is more than 2,500 times of it. 131.4 meters. Meters, not mm. It’s main mirror weighs around 705 kg.



Is Universe Infinite
Is Universe Infinite

Depending on the camera used by the telescope, the photos vary. . This photo taken by the NICAM, was truly breathtaking, and it went viral on social media.

When the photos were released by NASA, the same photo was taken by the MIRI Cam as well. And the same thing looks like this on MIRI Cam.

The dust clouds which were visible, don’t show up much on the MIRI Cam, because the wavelength captured by MIRI Cam is longer.

So it is easy for it to pass through objects. Enabling us to look through the clouds. You might ask now what is the thing in the photo. What are we looking at? Friends, the answer to it is we are seeing the death of a star. Yup, that’s correct. We can see the star dying.

There are two stars in this photo, orbiting around each other, The brighter star of the two, is at the early stages of its life, and the dimmed star is dying. While dying, over the last thousands of years, this star has been releasing clouds of gases and dust. The cloud of gases and dust is known as the Planetary Nebula.

And because the two stars are orbiting each other, the cloud keeps getting swished around. Similar to how you mix sugar into water. Because of the gravitational pull of both stars, this is the shape of the cloud. It is interesting to note that in the NIRCAM photo, you can see only one star. And you can see the cloud clearly, making us wonder is Universe Infinite ?

But in the MIRI Cam photo, the cloud is quite muted, and you can clearly see the two stars. As I explained, because of the longer wavelength, we can see the centre of the dense cloud. If this is the first time you’ve heard about stars dying, shocking, isn’t it? I’d like to tell you that similar to the life cycle of humans, childhood, teenage, adulthood, old age, and then death, similarly, stars have a life cycle too. Our Sun is a star as well. It is quite young now.

About 5 billion years later, Our Sun will become a Red Giant. After becoming a Red Giant, it too will go through the same stages that these stars are going through in this photo. It’ll become a planetary nebula. After which it’ll be a White Dwarf, and then The End. Red Giants are bigger in size than an average star, when our Sun will turn into a Red Giant, it will swallow the planets of Venus and Mercury.

And Earth will no longer have living conditions. But do not worry, humans have 5 billion years to discover some technology which can push back Earth’s orbit. But that’s for later. There’s no use talking about it now. Let’s talk about the rest of the photos. The first photo released by NASA was this one, it is perhaps the most historic photo too. This photo gives you a glimpse of 13 billion years ago.

After seeing this photo, American President Joe Biden said that it is a new window into the history of the universe. “It’s a new window into the history of our universe. And today, we’re gonna get a glimpse of the first light to shine through that window.” In this photo, we can basically see a galaxy cluster. SMACS 0723, making us wonder is Universe Infinite ?

The galaxies closer to our camera, have a high gravitational force such that they are distorting the light coming behind them. It creates a magnifying glass of sorts.

This phenomenon has been named Gravitational Lensing. With its help, we can see objects behind it. It isn’t a photo which was simply clicked by the telescope as is. Similar to how you point your camera, tap a button and take the picture, it’s not so. It took 12.5 hours to take this photo.

While the other 4 galaxies look quite blurry. These four galaxies are so close to each other, that the dust and stars present in them, have started interacting with each other. We can see the effect of their gravitational forces on one another. For scientists, this is immensely interesting to see. Scientists want to know what happens when galaxies get so close to one another. Next is the most beautiful photo till now, in it we can see the birth of a star.

After seeing the death of a star, we can now witness the birth of a star. The mountain range kinda thing that you see, has been named Cosmic Cliffs by scientists. . Apart from the two cameras, the James Webb Telescope is equipped with a NIRISS. NIRISS stands for Near Infra-Red Imager and Slit less Spectrograph ,making us wonder is Universe Infinite ?

The spectrograph is an instrument which measures the intensity of the various wavelengths of light. For 6.5 hours, the NIRISS measured the light coming from this planet. The result of the measurement was this light curve. The data plotted on this graph, tells us that there’s water on this planet, H2O. Additionally, there’s some haze and clouds as well.

You might wonder how can we determine whether a planet has water or not simply by measuring light. Even though we haven’t even seen its photo. The answer to it is very simple, friends.

And the colourful world that we see around us, it’s all an illusion created by the wavelength. For example, why do we see trees, plants, and leaves as green in colour? Because they contain chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is unique because it absorbs red and blue colour wavelengths, and the wavelength which it cannot absorb, that’s the green colour, is what we can see. Similarly, the water in oceans looks blue to us.

Because it is water’s property to absorb the other wavelengths of red, yellow, and orange, and since it cannot absorb the blue wavelength present in light, we see it as blue in colour. The same logic can be applied in reverse as well. If we pass light through a leaf, In the light on the other side the red and blue wavelengths would be blocked.

If we measure it through a spectrograph and create a chart, We will be able to see a certain pattern with which we can draw the conclusion that if the same pattern is repeated somewhere else, it is most likely that the second thing is similar to a leaf. Or may even be a leaf itself.

The light from the WASP – 96B, was captured by this telescope, a graph was prepared on the spectrograph, and the blocked wavelengths of light were analysed. Scientists know the exact ratio of blockage of wavelengths to know which molecule the light had to pass through.

And so we can conclude that there’s water on this exoplanet. If you are happy knowing that the presence of water on this planet may signify the presence of life on it, that we might find aliens there, don’t be so happy. Because this planet is not habitable. Scientists have discovered other facts about the planet, making us wonder is Universe Infinite ?

First of all, the closeness of the planet to its star, and the size of the planet, with those parameters, they have estimated that the temperature on that planet is more than 530°C. So the chances of finding aliens on this planet are next to none. But over the next few months, the James Webb Space Telescope will analyse another planet, it will be pointed towards a new planet, to take pictures of that planet, which is said to be one of the most potentially habitable planets.

According to theoretical calculations, it has been estimated that in our Milky Way, in our galaxy, there are about 300 million potential habitable planets. Planets where humans can survive. Where life can be found. But practically, with what we have seen and observed in Milky Way, we have analysed only about 5,000 exoplanets. Not even the potentially habitable 5,000 we have observed about 5,000 exoplanets in total. Although several of them are potentially habitable.

Is Universe Infinite
Is Universe Infinite

8 Unimaginable Facts About Universe.

  • Nobody knows how many stars are there in space
  • The footprints on the moon will stay there for the next 100 million years.
  • The cost of the NASA space suit costs for $12,000,000
  • There is Floating water in Space.
  • Pluto is smaller than the United States.
  • The moon is drifting away from Earth.
  • The first ever black hole photographed is 3 million times the size of Earth
  • There are more stars in the universe than grains of sand on all the beaches on Earth.



ITS UNIMAGINABLY BIG , So Is Universe Infinite ?


In November 2018, researchers found that of all the exoplanets observed by now, one of those planets has the highest chance of being a habitable planet. On which life can be found. It resembles Earth the most. This planet was named TRAPPIST – 1E. Scientists claimed that if we were to look for habitability, this would be the most worthy candidate. This exoplanet is merely 40 lightyears away from us. ‘merely’ is such a misnomer, 40 light-years is equal to 380 trillion km,making us wonder is Universe Infinite ?

But relatively speaking, 40 lightyears isn’t very far compared to the other exoplanets. The star around which this planet orbits, isn’t like our Sun, instead, it is an ultra-cool dwarf star.

Named TRAPPIST 1. It is quite cooler than our Sun, that’s why it is known as Ultra Cool. But the distance between the star and this planet is lesser than the distance between Earth and the Sun ,making us wonder is Universe Infinite ?

The temperature on this planet remains in the Habitable Zone. On top of it, the dimensions of this planet are quite similar to Earth’s. Its radius is 91% of Earth’s radius. Its total mass is 77% of Earth’s mass. Density is 102% of Earth’s density, and the gravity on the surface is 93% of the Earth’s gravity. It has also been confirmed that there is a surface of solid rocks on this planet.

The temperature is so cold on this planet that liquid water can exist on it, but not so cold that it would freeze. Over the next few months, the James Webb Space Telescope will analyse this exoplanet in detail. It will check whether its atmosphere contains carbon dioxide, methane, and water vapour or not. If a certain combination of these gases is detected, it will help us to conclude that there might be life on that planet. Let’s wait for the future discoveries made by this telescope.

But one this is for sure, scientists believed that if any exoplanet has to sustain life, three main things should be present there. Liquid water, a solid surface, and an atmosphere where a certain combination of these gases is present.


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