This includes Supernova 2004et and Supernova 2017eaw, which researchers at Johns Hopkins and other institutions are now studying with the James Webb Space Telescope's Mid-Infrared Instrument, or MIRI. The mass found by researchers supports the theory that supernovae played a key role in supplying dust to the early universe. "When the gas cools enough to form dust, that dust is only detectable at mid-infrared wavelengths provided you have enough sensitivity." For instance, in SN 2004et, researchers found more than 5,000 Earth masses of dust. Seeing this amount of dust at this stage in the lifetimes of SN 2004et and SN 2017eaw suggests that dust can survive the shockwave—evidence that supernovae really are important dust factories after all.