NASA released revolutionary new images of the cosmos this week that were taken by the James Webb Space Telescope, the largest and most powerful space observatory to date. Launched in 2021, the JWST was designed to study star and planet formation with exponentially more accuracy and detail than its predecessor, the Hubble Space Telescope. “We can actually essentially watch the formation of stars,” says astrophysicist Katie Mack. “There's a chance that it might find signatures consistent with life in the atmospheres of other stars.” We feature NASA's new images, like the Southern Ring Nebula, and Mack discusses what humans can learn from the new science about the cosmos, and ourselves.
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