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Space & Astronomy

Cosmic 'question mark' shows up in James Webb Space Telescope image

By T.K. Randall
August 6, 2023 · Comment icon 3 comments

Image Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA / Joseph DePasquale (STScI)
An astronomical object resembling the curious symbol has appeared in the background of an image of the Vela Constellation.
Examples of pareidolia - which is the brain's inherent tendency to perceive meaningful shapes in abstract patterns - have often been found on the Moon or on the surface of Mars, but this is the first time we've seen one on a scale large enough to be seen far off in the depths of space.

Resembling a question mark, the unexpected extra was spotted in a breathtaking James Webb image released this week of two actively forming young stars in the Vela Constellation.

So what could possibly explain a gargantuan question mark floating in space ?
"It is probably a distant galaxy, or potentially interacting galaxies (their interactions may have caused the distorted question mark-shape)," representatives of Baltimore's Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) told Space.Com when quizzed about the phenomenon.

"This may be the first time we've seen this particular object."

"Additional follow-up would be required to figure out what it is with any certainty. Webb is showing us many new, distant galaxies — so there's a lot of new science to be done!"

Source: | Comments (3)

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Comment icon #1 Posted by Trelane 7 months ago
A very cool and interesting image was captured by the James Webb Space Telescope. The universe likes to flirt with us, but she still has so many secrets. "James Webb Space Telescope spies giant cosmic question mark in deep space (photo)"    
Comment icon #2 Posted by Tomas S 7 months ago
Huh, the Riddler ??? Wait til we see the Bat signal in space, that would be something!
Comment icon #3 Posted by TomO' 7 months ago
I think all of the objects in space that we can't identify should appear as a queston mark. Once we can identify them, then they can transform into a check mark.

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