The Webb Telescope caught a mysterious scary thing. Scientists haven’t seen anything like it

The Webb Telescope caught a mysterious scary thing. Scientists haven’t seen anything like it
The Webb Telescope caught a mysterious scary thing. Scientists haven’t seen anything like it

The star WR 140 with strange rings, captured by the Webb telescope.

James Webb’s space telescope allows us to peer into mysterious corners not only in space, but also in time. Recently, this billion-dollar instrument captured mysterious concentric rings around a distant star. Astronomers cannot explain what it is.

In the images from July, the distant star appears to be surrounded by concentric ripples of a strange square shape. She posted the pictures on

citizen scientist Judy Schmidt, which thus reveals the star WR140. WR140 is located about 5,600 light-years from Earth in the constellation Cygnus. It is surrounded by regular circles resembling gradually disappearing ripples in the images from the Webb telescope. However, the circles are not perfectly round, but paradoxically have a “square” impression. And it was this mystery that caused speculation in the comments about a possible extraterrestrial origin.

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Source: Youtube

Star WR140

Judy Schmidt went on to say, “I think nature is just doing something that’s simple, but when you look at it from just one point of view, it seems impossible at first to understand that it’s a natural phenomenon. Why is it shaped the way it is? how is it? Why is he so regular?”

According to the interdisciplinary scientist Mark McCaughrean is this element literally crazy: “The six-point blue structure is an artifact caused by optical diffraction from the bright star WR140 in this JWST MIRI image. But the red curved-yet-boxy things are real, a series of shells around WR140. Actually in space. Around the star.”

According to him, the star WR140 is what astronomers call a Wolf-Rayet star. This means that it is an object that has spat most of its hydrogen into space. Similar objects are also surrounded by dust, which the companion star has modeled into strange shells.

Even according to the astronomer Ryan Lau are these “nested ‘squirrel’ rings real”.

Source: Youtube

The study will be published soon

A scientific paper on this topic will be published soon and is currently under review. WR140 is a so-called variable star that periodically dims and brightens. Whether the star’s variability has anything to do with the mysterious ripples remains to be seen.

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The image already demonstrates the power of the $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope, the most powerful observatory ever sent into space and celebrated for its revolutionary infrared vision and very sharp eye. Thanks to the instrument, we can now observe WR 140, which, to the dismay of astronomers, shines with concentric square waves.

Astronomers will soon learn more about this mysterious phenomenon thanks to a scientific paper currently under peer review.


The article is in Czech

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