Mystery of ‘Space Spider Web’, 5,000 light-years from Earth, finally solved by scientists

EXPERTS believe they’ve gotten to the bottom of a “crazy” deep-space “spider web” mystery discovered 5,000 light-years away.

Some believed aliens could be behind the strange ripples surrounding two distant hot stars.

One scientist called the sighting

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One scientist called the sighting “crazy” when it surfaced in JulyPhoto credit: NASA

Scientists were puzzled when the giant James Webb Space Telescope snapped it in July.

The star system, officially known as WR140, caused headaches because the waves around it are square rather than perfectly round, as in most cases.

But now they have come up with a new theory that rules out any form of extraterrestrial interference.

Unfortunately, it’s something less exciting: dust.

Astronomers believe the dust shells are there because the two hot stars – dubbed the Wolf-Rayet Star and the O Star – are quite close together during their eight-year orbit.

This causes the winds to be compressed by each, creating dust particles.

Interestingly, they tend to get more excited when they get closer and farther apart, as opposed to when they’re very close, as some might expect.

So that’s what’s causing the odd bumpiness in the waves.

“Like clockwork, WR140 inflates a chiseled smoke ring every eight years, which is then inflated like a balloon in the stellar wind,” said Professor Peter Tuthill of the Sydney Institute for Astronomy at the University of Sydney.

“Eight years later, as the binary returns to its orbit, another ring, same as the previous one, erupts into space inside the previous one’s bubble, like a set of giant nested Russian dolls.”

Scientists have identified a total of 17 concentric rings around WR140, stretching outward over 10 trillion kilometers.

The results were published in the journal Nature.

James Webb Space Telescope

The James Webb Space Telescope was launched on December 25, 2021.

It’s the world’s largest and most powerful space telescope and costs around $10 billion (£7.3 billion).

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Taken illegally from Instagram. Mrs. Hinch wows fans with a stunning autumnal front door decoration - and she bagged the decorations from Home Bargains, https://www.instagram.com/reel/CjqhSP2gfTQ/?igshid=MDJmNzVkMjY%3D

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Taken illegally from Instagram. Mrs. Hinch wows fans with a stunning autumnal front door decoration – and she bagged the decorations from Home Bargains, https://www.instagram.com/reel/CjqhSP2gfTQ/?igshid=MDJmNzVkMjY%3DPhoto credit: Instagram

JWST is currently orbiting the Earth-Sun Lagrange Point 2 (L2), which is about 930,000 miles from Earth toward Mars.

There, the telescope scans the night sky for faint infrared light that could be visible from the first generation of stars and galaxies.

The James Webb Telescope was launched on December 25, 2021

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The James Webb Telescope was launched on December 25, 2021

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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/9565682/james-webb-wr140-ripple-dust/ Mystery of ‘Space Spider Web’, 5,000 light-years from Earth, finally solved by scientists

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