Highlights

  • First colour image from James Webb Space Telescope
  • Deepest look of cosmos ever clicked
  • Deep field image shown at White House

Latest news

JDU sans BJP awaits 2024 polls with Nitish as Opposition's Captain?

JDU sans BJP awaits 2024 polls with Nitish as Opposition's Captain?

Watch: what Nitish Kumar had to say about becoming PM candidate

Watch: what Nitish Kumar had to say about becoming PM candidate

Cricket Umpire Rudi Koertzen tragically dies in car crash

Cricket Umpire Rudi Koertzen tragically dies in car crash

Kiara Advani talks about slap-scene from 'Kabir Singh'; says it was ‘blown out of proportion’

Kiara Advani talks about slap-scene from 'Kabir Singh'; says it was ‘blown out of proportion’

Alia Bhatt is on her babymoon with Ranbir Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor comments 'I went there too'

Alia Bhatt is on her babymoon with Ranbir Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor comments 'I went there too'

NASA releases first colour image from James Webb Space Telescope

The plan is to use the telescope to peer back so far that scientists will get a glimpse of the early days of the universe about 13.7 billion years ago and zoom in on closer cosmic objects, even our own solar system, with sharper focus.

Our view of the universe just expanded: The first image from NASA's new space telescope unveiled Monday is brimming with galaxies and offers the deepest look of the cosmos ever captured.

The first image from the $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope is the farthest humanity has ever seen in both time and distance, closer to the dawn of time and the edge of the universe. That image will be followed Tuesday by the release of four more galactic beauty shots from the telescope's initial outward gazes.

The “deep field" image released at a White House event is filled with lots of stars, with massive galaxies in the foreground and faint and extremely distant galaxies peeking through here and there. Part of the image is light from not too long after the Big Bang, which was 13.8 billion years ago.

“We're going to give humanity a new view of the cosmos,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson told reporters last month in a briefing. “And it's a view that we've never seen before.” The images on tap for Tuesday include a view of a giant gaseous planet outside our solar system, two images of a nebula where stars are born and die in spectacular beauty and an update of a classic image of five tightly clustered galaxies that dance around each other.

The world's biggest and most powerful space telescope rocketed away last December from French Guiana in South America. It reached its lookout point 1 million miles (1.6 million kilometers) from Earth in January. Then the lengthy process began to align the mirrors, get the infrared detectors cold enough to operate and calibrate the science instruments, all protected by a sunshade the size of a tennis court that keeps the telescope cool.

The plan is to use the telescope to peer back so far that scientists will get a glimpse of the early days of the universe about 13.7 billion years ago and zoom in on closer cosmic objects, even our own solar system, with sharper focus.

Webb is considered the successor to the highly successful, but aging Hubble Space Telescope. Hubble has stared as far back as 13.4 billion years. It found the light wave signature of an extremely bright galaxy in 2016. Astronomers measure how far back they look in light-years with one light-year being 5.8 trillion miles (9.3 trillion kilometers).

“Webb can see backwards in time to just after the Big Bang by looking for galaxies that are so far away that the light has taken many billions of years to get from those galaxies to our telescopes,” said Jonathan Gardner, Webb's deputy project scientist said during the media briefing.

How far back did that first image look? Over the next few days, astronomers will do intricate calculations to figure out just how old those galaxies are, project scientist Klaus Pontoppidan said last month.

The deepest view of the cosmos “is not a record that will stand for very long,” Pontoppidan said, since scientists are expected to use the telescope to go even deeper.

Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA's science mission chief said when he saw the images he got emotional and so did his colleagues: “It's really hard to not look at the universe in new light and not just have a moment that is deeply personal.” At 21 feet (6.4 meters), Webb's gold-plated, flower-shaped mirror is the biggest and most sensitive ever sent into space. It's comprised of 18 segments, one of which was smacked by a bigger than anticipated micrometeoroid in May. Four previous micrometeoroid strikes to the mirror were smaller. Despite the impacts, the telescope has continued to exceed mission requirements, with barely any data loss, according to NASA.

NASA is collaborating on Webb with the European and Canadian space agencies.

“I'm now really excited as this dramatic progress augurs well for reaching the ultimate prize for many astronomers like myself: pinpointing “Cosmic Dawn” — the moment when the universe was first bathed in starlight,” Richard Ellis, professor of astrophysics at University College London, said via email.

Also Watch: First from a launch pad outside the US, NASA rocket launches from Australia

Up Next

NASA releases first colour image from James Webb Space Telescope

NASA releases first colour image from James Webb Space Telescope

Satellites no longer usable: ISRO after SSLV deviates from intended destination, promises second mission

Satellites no longer usable: ISRO after SSLV deviates from intended destination, promises second mission

ISRO faces setback as maiden SSLV mission suffers 'data loss', scientists analyse status

ISRO faces setback as maiden SSLV mission suffers 'data loss', scientists analyse status

Video: ISRO's SSLV takes historic flight, carries students' satellite

Video: ISRO's SSLV takes historic flight, carries students' satellite

British Medical Journal: current Monkeypox symptoms different from earlier outbreaks

British Medical Journal: current Monkeypox symptoms different from earlier outbreaks

Russia to opt out of International Space Station after 2024

Russia to opt out of International Space Station after 2024

More videos

China develops self-healing robot fish that can gobble microplastics

China develops self-healing robot fish that can gobble microplastics

NASA's Webb Telescope detects water on a planet over 1,000 light years away

NASA's Webb Telescope detects water on a planet over 1,000 light years away

James Webb Space Telescope 'can see backwards in time': all you need to know

James Webb Space Telescope 'can see backwards in time': all you need to know

Microwave oven-sized satellite heads to the Moon: why is it beginning of new era for space exploration

Microwave oven-sized satellite heads to the Moon: why is it beginning of new era for space exploration

Marine biologists find world's biggest bacterium in Caribbean

Marine biologists find world's biggest bacterium in Caribbean

Scientists create Transformers-style robot which swims through the body

Scientists create Transformers-style robot which swims through the body

Has world's largest telescope Sky Eye picked signs of life beyond Earth? China publishes & deletes report

Has world's largest telescope Sky Eye picked signs of life beyond Earth? China publishes & deletes report

What is Voyager 1 trying to tell NASA? Engineers perplexed by mysterious signals

What is Voyager 1 trying to tell NASA? Engineers perplexed by mysterious signals

Capture, mine the Moon for minerals: Russia, China's plan for space dominance? What US spies said

Capture, mine the Moon for minerals: Russia, China's plan for space dominance? What US spies said

Watch: ISRO rocket launch with 3 satellites; 2022's first for Indian space agency

Watch: ISRO rocket launch with 3 satellites; 2022's first for Indian space agency

Editorji Technologies Pvt. Ltd. © 2022 All Rights Reserved.