Seeing is not Earendel

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Eric Flesch

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Oct 2, 2022, 11:48:25 AMOct 2
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Just a very short comment on the so-called "highly magnified z=6.2 star"
Earendel. ArXiv:2208.09007 Figure 1 shows a JWST photo of this "Sunrise
Arc" which displays about 8 point sources along the pencil-thin arc, one
of which is said to be the star Earendel.

I'm quite skeptical of this, however, because of the configuration of
those 8 point sources. They are arrayed in a regular lattice of
expanding offsets from right to left. The point sources must all be
related to each other, and are probably caused by some cosmic-level
magnetic manifestation not yet understood. This explanation springs to
mind because of an Aurora Australis that I saw back in 1988, which
looked like rustling curtains 100 miles high which would spark at the
top whenever two rustles collided. There was a regaularity to them that
I see here as well. Thus I speculate this is a magnetic emission caused
by some alignment of the cluster galaxies.

Furthermore, the "Sunrise Arc" has not varied over 3 years of
observation. But the magnification of a z=6.2 star would need to be a
million-fold. In no way could such a lensing configuration remain
stable.

Thought this needed to be mentioned, cheers.

Martin Brown

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Oct 3, 2022, 4:17:14 PMOct 3
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On 02/10/2022 16:48, Eric Flesch wrote:
> Just a very short comment on the so-called "highly magnified z=6.2 star"
> Earendel. ArXiv:2208.09007 Figure 1 shows a JWST photo of this "Sunrise
> Arc" which displays about 8 point sources along the pencil-thin arc, one
> of which is said to be the star Earendel.

I'd be very interested to take a look at the full resolution image but I
can't seem to find it on the JWST website. The indexing is rubbish :(
>
> I'm quite skeptical of this, however, because of the configuration of
> those 8 point sources. They are arrayed in a regular lattice of
> expanding offsets from right to left. The point sources must all be
> related to each other, and are probably caused by some cosmic-level
> magnetic manifestation not yet understood. This explanation springs to
> mind because of an Aurora Australis that I saw back in 1988, which
> looked like rustling curtains 100 miles high which would spark at the
> top whenever two rustles collided. There was a regaularity to them that
> I see here as well. Thus I speculate this is a magnetic emission caused
> by some alignment of the cluster galaxies.

I doubt it is any kind of magnetic emission. If it was though it might
well be polarised.

> Furthermore, the "Sunrise Arc" has not varied over 3 years of
> observation. But the magnification of a z=6.2 star would need to be a
> million-fold. In no way could such a lensing configuration remain
> stable.

Seeing may be in the eyes of the beholder, but I am prepared to accept
that the star is as described (although I would have liked to also know
the redshifts of the two brighter stars appearing to either side of it).

However, my interpretation of the image which may well be horribly wrong
is that the sunrise arc shows the same galaxy imaged with multipath
distortion in three or possibly four locations along it.

The pattern

o x o e-e#e#e

Where x is Earendel, o o the other two stars and e-e#e#e is the blob
distorted galaxy. You can see the other star pair in the zone nearest
mid frame and the galaxy and a single star at the bottom left. They are
in remarkably close agreement if you rotate the segments and align.

They look to me suspiciously like three distorted views of the same
object at possibly different times. The problem is that a blob with a
few point sources isn't all that definitive. Maybe just a fluke?

I wonder if it is possible to put bounds on how long a very distant star
can remain in the sweet spot of a cluster lens? I'm guessing it is
slowly moving through it and will eventually fade but on what timescale?

--
Regards,
Martin Brown

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