A rare constellation of stars that will make you wonder if the universe has a battery in it will become visible from space in time for the New Year.
The constellation of Aries is the first star to be revealed by the James Webb Space Telescope, which is scheduled to launch in 2018.
“It is a great honour for the people of the UK to be selected for the first James Webb telescope,” said James Webb director Sir Tim Peake.
“The Webb telescope is one of the most sophisticated instruments in the world and will provide the most comprehensive picture of the universe ever made.”
These are exciting times and I would like to thank the James, Webb and the British Astronomical Society (BAS) for the great opportunities they have provided us.
“The constellation consists of a bright ring of stars known as the Bear Nebula, a pair of bright blue-green stars known in astronomy as Sagittarius A*, and two other stars known only as Ursa Minoris.
Astronomers have also discovered that Aries, the brightest star in the constellation, is surrounded by three more stars, Ursa Major and Ursa Scorpio.
All of these stars were first spotted by James Webb in the late 1990s.
The star has since been named after Sir Tim, who died in February at the age of 87.
Sir Tim, a former BBC astronomer and former member of the Royal Astronomical society, was an influential figure in astronomy, with a particular interest in astronomical phenomena.
In his lifetime he published over a dozen books on the history of astronomy and became one of Britain’s most well-known and influential astronomers.
He also served as president of the British Society for the Study of Astronomy.
His research and scholarship has led to many of the world’s most significant discoveries, including the first direct observation of the Orion nebula, and the formation of our solar system.
A survey of the stars in Aries shows that its position is not at the heart of the star’s formation, but rather a combination of the Earth, its moon and its companion, the Orion Nebula.”
This is a beautiful constellation that gives us a better understanding of the way our universe is formed,” said Dr David Shuker, a professor of astronomy at University College London, who was not involved in the study.”
I think it’s great that we are able to observe it now, and we can see the stars that were previously hidden from view.
“The Aries constellation has been dubbed the “battery” of stars because it contains three stars, and all three of them are in their early years of life, meaning they are already beginning to fade into obscurity.”
We’re able to tell this constellation apart from the rest because of the brightness of the blue-white stars in its southern constellation,” said study co-author and astronomer Dr Tom Pugh.”
Aries has a long history of being studied, and it will be interesting to see how the stars of the constellation change over time.
“The study is published in the journal Nature.