James Webb Space Telescope: NASA reveals more images of the deeper universe

The Carina Nebula
Stephan's Quintet
Historical preview
The first color image of the James Webb Space Telescope
SMACS 0723
The most powerful telescope in the world
The @nasawebb channel
Why is the James Webb Space Telescope so important?
The launch
Collaboration between NASA, ESA and the Canadian Space Agency
What are the goals?
Rebuilding the first moments after the Big Bang
It will be like traveling back in time
Project born in the 90s
The difference with Hubble
Huge mirrors
It will operate up to 1.5 million kilometers from Earth
A look into the past
Its trajectory
How much did the James Webb Space Telescope cost?
One of the most ambitious projects
A new extraterrestrial life?
The space telescope that will change our history
The Carina Nebula

This is the grand finale of the first color images of the James Webb Space Telescope. But in reality we are only at the beginning of a new space age! Behind the curtain of dust and gas in these incredible "cosmic cliffs" are small hidden stars, discovered by the Webb telescope. This is the Carina Nebula in all its glory

Photo: Nasa

Stephan's Quintet

Here is another image captured by James Webb: Stephan's Quintet. Here we see five galaxies, four of which interact with each other.

Photo: Nasa

Historical preview

On Monday, July 11, 2022, United States President Joe Biden revealed a preview of the first color image captured by the James Webb Space Telescope, a photo that represents a unique historical moment that could help rewrite the entire history of astronomy and more.

"Historic moment for science and technology"

Biden himself on his Twitter channel @POTUS writes: "The first image from the Webb Space Telescope represents a historic moment for science and technology. For astronomy and space exploration. And for America and all humanity."

Photo: Twitter @POTUS

The first color image of the James Webb Space Telescope

Josef Aschbacher, CEO of ESA, said to the Spanish newspaper 'El Mundo': "Thanks to teamwork, dedication and the human drive to explore and push boundaries, we have reached this historic moment that allowed us to observe the deeper insight into the early universe."

SMACS 0723

On the official Instagram profile of the ESA (European Space Agency) it is instead described what we can see in the historic photo:  "This image of galaxy cluster SMACS 0723 is overflowing with detail: Thousands of galaxies – including the faintest objects ever observed – have appeared in Webb’s view for the first time.2

Photo: Nasa

The most powerful telescope in the world

The image captured by the James Webb telescope was taken in just one day, which is incredibly fast when compared to the legendary Hubble telescope, (to which we owe the last 30 years of discoveries around the universe),which takes a few weeks to produce images.

Photo: Nasa

 

The @nasawebb channel

The Instagram account Nasawebb also gives us a small description of what we saw in the historical photo: "If you held a grain of sand to the sky at arm’s length, that speck is the size of Webb’s view here. Imagine — galaxies galore within a grain! Why do some galaxies appear bent? The combined mass of this galaxy cluster acts as a “gravitational lens,” bending the light rays from more distant galaxies behind it, magnifying them. "

Photo: Instagram @nasawebb

Why is the James Webb Space Telescope so important?

But why is this image taken by the James Webb Space Telescope so important to the entire scientific community? Let's find out!

Photo: Nasa

The launch

On December 25, 2021, the James Webb Space Telescope was launched from the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana to kick off a new era in science and technology.

Collaboration between NASA, ESA and the Canadian Space Agency

The James Webb telescope was born thanks to the collaboration between NASA, ESA and the Canadian Space Agency. It is the most powerful telescope in the world created by humans to date.

Photo: Nasa

What are the goals?

James Webb's task is to discover the secrets of the universe and to answer the many questions that human beings have always asked themselves: "Where do we come from?", "Are we alone in the universe?".

Photo: Nasa

Rebuilding the first moments after the Big Bang

But what everyone expects from the revolutionary telescope is to be able to study the most remote galaxies in the universe, in order to reconstruct the first moments immediately after the Big Bang.

Photo: Nasa

It will be like traveling back in time

Thanks to the space telescope it will be a bit like traveling back in time to observe the first galaxies that formed. As The Guardian reported, the mission experts have stated that it will be like watching the universe "turn on the lights for the first time". And they added: "Webb can see back in time right after the big bang by looking for galaxies so far away, the light took billions of years to get from them to us."

Project born in the 90s

Although it was launched in 2021, the construction of the prodigious telescope actually dates back to the 1990s, but following many unexpected events, its development was delayed for several decades.

Photo: Nasa

The difference with Hubble

The substantial difference between James Webb and Hubble is that the new space telescope will almost always operate in the infrared to be able to analyze the most remote objects in our universe.

In the photo: the optical difference between the Spitzer Space Telescope, launched in 2003, and Webb.

Photo: Instagram @nasawebb

Huge mirrors

In addition, the James Webb Space Telescope is equipped with several mirrors that exceed six meters in diameter, which will allow it to study even the faintest objects.

Photo: Nasa

It will operate up to 1.5 million kilometers from Earth

Another difference with Hubble concerns the operation at a distance from the Earth. While that of Hubble is 570 kilometers, for the James Webb Space Telescope it is 1.5 million kilometers.

Photo: Nasa

A look into the past

Looking far into space means looking at the light that came from ancient times, trying to reconstruct the first moments of life of our universe, born about 13 billion years ago.

Photo: Nasa

Its trajectory

For this reason, one of the James Webb Teleschope's first goals is to get closer to 'Carina', a nebula that is 7,600 light years away from the Earth, and from which many stars much larger than our sun are born.

Photo: Nasa

How much did the James Webb Space Telescope cost?

Obviously, such an impressive telescope is very expensive: its total price, in fact, is about 11 billion dollars, which was mostly financed by NASA, which has always supported the revolutionary project since its inception.

Photo: Nasa

One of the most ambitious projects

The latest generation telescope is in fact part of the most ambitious projects carried out by humans, together with the aforementioned Hubble and CERN in Geneva, where the LHC, the most powerful particle accelerator in the world, is located.

Photo: Nasa

A new extraterrestrial life?

Another task of the James Webb Space Teleschope could be to discover new extraterrestrial life or traces of extraterrestrial life that already existed.

Photo: Nasa

 

The space telescope that will change our history

What is certain is that whatever kind of discovery the James Webb Space Telescope makes, it will be something that will change our history forever.

Photo: Nasa

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