James Webb Space Telescope captured a rare star that is about to become supernova
NASA shared an image from the James Webb Telescope, which may help astronomers finally answer long-standing questions about our universe. The image shows WR 124, a star located in the constellation Sagittarius, approximately 15,000 light-years from Earth.
When JWST first sighted WR 124 in June 2022, it captured a Wolf-Rayet-class star. According to NASA, only a few massive stars are at this stage of their evolution before exploding. They are among the largest and brightest celestial bodies in the night sky. In the case of WR 124, NASA estimates that the star is 30 times the mass of the Sun and has lost about 10 Suns of mass by now. Over time, the gas ejected by Wolf-Rayet stars will cool and form cosmic dust.
Cosmic dust is what astronomers are eager to study because this material is an important building block of the universe. According to NASA, it shelters coalescing stars and can even gather to form planets. Currently, however, there is no theory that explains the amount of cosmic dust in the universe. The Webb Telescope may help astronomers solve this mystery.