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Are we alone in the universe?  Scarlin Hernandez answers

Are we alone in the universe? Scarlin Hernandez answers

Six months after quitting James Webb Telescope She began to show the world never-before-seen images of space. These first shots represent a new era in astronomy, allowing us to see the depths of the universe from Earth.

To find out in detail what these photos represent, we spoke with him Scarlet HernandezThe Dominican aerospace engineer which, along with a large team from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), has developed codes that are part of the systems that control and control the James Webb TelescopeThe most advanced ever built.

DL— What do the first images revealed by the telescope represent?

st. The first images provided by President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris show the deep field of a group of galaxies, and in fact, it is the deepest image we’ve taken of the universe to date. In that single image there are thousands upon thousands of galaxies. So you can understand, if you look from here on Earth to the sky and extend your arm and point towards this area, it will be the size of a grain of sand.

So it is very small. 100 years ago, we thought we were the only galaxy out there, and now we see through this telescope that the truth is that the universe is so full, it’s not as big a void as we thought or thought, and personally, when I first saw these images one in my head no longer There is no doubt that we cannot be alone in the universe, and this is practically impossible. And I want to stress that this is my opinion and not the opinion of NASA.

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DL – What have you been able to discover inside these galaxies?

st. The second image is the spectroscopy of a galaxy that is also 3.1 billion years away, and in that galaxy we were able to detect hydrogen, neon and oxygen, which we know are elements found here on Earth.

Also the exoplanet spectrum, in which we have taken the most detailed measurements to date of light transmission from an exoplanet.

We were also able to analyze the structure of the atmosphere of an exoplanet and it refers to water vapor, so we can see in this exoplanet that it definitely contains water, and this ability will help us in the search for habitable planets in the coming years.

DL – What does the black hole represent in the image?

st. We can see the black hole, which we initially thought was the only galaxy with a black hole in the center, and now we think all galaxies have a black hole in the center. We also think that clusters of galaxies were very common in the early universe.

When hot matter falls in it, it could have fed black holes, very energetic holes, and that’s something we’re studying.

“Now I am sure that with a telescope we will be able to find things we did not know existed.”Scarlet HernandezAerospace engineer at NASA

DL— Can a telescope detect life on other planets?

st. We have shown and you can see in other images that we can actually study the composition of objects, specifically the physical and chemical properties of the atmospheres of those planets or planets similar to ours, and if the day comes when we see a sign of life, it will be something that will take a long time to verify because it will be something new to us. To us, something original that we haven’t seen before. With telescope capability, I guess, but the truth is we’ve never found life, and we don’t know how it would appear in detectors. Nobody knows what that looks like. We won’t know what it is if we find it.

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DL— When will we be able to see new images of the universe again?

st. Every week more images and more data will appear from the telescope. Now I’m sure that with this telescope we will be able to find things we didn’t know existed.


* Write your concerns, suggestions and comments at [email protected].

BA in Social Communication and MA in Journalism from the University of Puerto Rico. She currently coordinates the Diario Libre USA division, and is an expert on Dominican and United States diaspora issues.