August 14, 2022

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NASA.  Images from the James Webb Telescope.  More color pictures are shown

NASA. Images from the James Webb Telescope. More color pictures are shown

The new color images sent back by the James Webb Space Telescope have seen the light of day. Ten or so hours ago, the first image was presented, which shows the deepest and most detailed picture of the universe to date.

NASA displayed the first color image from the James Webb Telescope at night from Monday to Tuesday, Poland time. This was a snapshot of the galaxy cluster SMACS 0723. On Tuesday afternoon, a batch of back-to-back images of the universe were revealed.

First, a graph of the water parameters recorded by the telescope was shown in the atmosphere surrounding the huge exoplanet WASP-96 b, and evidence of clouds and fog was found there.

An exoplanet is a planet orbiting a star other than the Sun. WASP-96 b is located around a star 1,150 light-years away. The mass of this exoplanet is half the mass of Jupiter. It was discovered in 2014.

Features of water and the presence of clouds and fog in the atmosphere surrounding the giant gas planet WASP-96 b, which orbits a star 1150 light-years awayNASA

Tuesday’s event included an image showing the Southern Ring Nebula (NGC 3132). This is a planetary nebula also known as the Shattered Eight Nebula. It is a gas cloud orbiting a dying star. According to NASA, the James Webb Telescope was the first to reveal that the star is covered in dust.

The Southern Ring Nebula is about half a light-year in diameter and about 2,000 light-years away.

Image of the Southern Ring Nebula (NGC 3132, also known as the Octagonal Clip Nebula). A dying star appears covered in dust and lightNASA

The image below shows Stefan Quintet. It is a group of five galaxies 290 million light-years away.

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NASA reports that the image is made up of more than 150 million pixels and nearly 1,000 separate graphic files. This allows you to see unprecedented detail in this group of galaxies.

Stefan Quintet, a group of galaxies 290 million light-years awayNASA

The last image of the first color images taken by the James Webb Space Telescope as viewed shows the Carina Nebula (NGC 3324), exactly on its edge. It is one of the largest and brightest nebulae in the sky and is the birthplace of stars.

As noted by NASA, this shot resembles a landscape of mountains and valleys under a starry evening sky. The highest “peaks” are about seven thousand light-years away. The nebula is located in the constellation Kela.

The Carina Nebula, one of the largest and brightest nebulae in the sky. It is located about 7,600 light-years away towards the constellation KilaNASA

The images and spectra shown were selected by an international panel composed of representatives from NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI).

The first image from the Webb Telescope

The first photo is on display at the White House. The event was attended by US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris with NASA. As confirmed by the US space agency, “This is the deepest and most detailed image of the universe captured so far (…) showing the light of galaxies that took billions of years to reach us.”

At least one beam of ancient faint light rays appearing on the image’s “background” – made up of images of different wavelengths – dates back more than 13 billion years, NASA chief Bill Nelson said. “It’s a small part of the universe,” Nelson added.

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“The web of the world reminds us of what America can do,” President Biden said.

The first image from the James Webb TelescopeNASA

1.5 million kilometers from us

The James Webb Telescope is the most advanced and powerful space telescope ever built. The pioneering observatory was created by scientists from NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency.

The telescope weighing over 6.3 tons cost $10 billion to build. It was launched on December 25, 2021. It is located at L2, 1.5 million kilometers from our planet, nearly four times the distance from the Moon. The device has a mirror with a diameter of 6.5 meters and it detects infrared radiation. It is called the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, which has been in operation for more than 30 years

James Webb Telescopebab/Reuters/Adam Zimenovic

James Webb Telescope Mirrorbab/Reuters/Adam Zimenovic