President Biden reveals stunning first image from NASA’s new James Webb Telescope, deepest view of universe ever captured

WASHINGTON — The first look at how the James Webb Space Telescope will change the way people see the universe has arrived.

President Joe Biden released one of the first images of Webb on Monday at the White House during a preview event with NASA Administrator Bill Nelson.

The image shows SMACS 0723, where a huge group of galaxy clusters acts as a magnifying glass for the objects behind them. Called gravitational lensing, this produced Webb’s first deep-field view of thousands of galaxies, including incredibly old and distant, faint ones.

“This slice of the vast universe covers a patch of sky about the size of a grain of sand held at arm’s length by someone on the ground,” according to a NASA statement.

“It’s the deepest picture of our universe ever taken,” according to Nelson.

The remaining high-resolution color images will debut as scheduled on Tuesday, July 12.

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The space observatory, which launched in December, will be able to peer into the atmospheres of exoplanets and observe some of the first galaxies formed after the universe began by seeing them through infrared light, which is invisible to the human eye.

The first image release will highlight Webb’s scientific capabilities as well as the ability of the huge golden mirror and its scientific instruments to produce spectacular images.

There are several events taking place during Tuesday’s image release, and all will be streamed live on NASA’s website.

Opening statements from NASA leadership and Webb’s team will begin Tuesday at 9:45 a.m. ET, followed by an image release show starting at 10:30 a.m. ET. The images will be revealed one by one and a press conference at 12:30 p.m. ET will provide details on those.

The first images

NASA shared Webb’s first cosmic targets on Friday, providing a teaser of what else Tuesday’s image release will include: the Carina Nebula, WASP-96b, the Southern Ring Nebula and Stephan’s Quintet.

At a distance of 7,600 light-years away, the Carina Nebula is a stellar nursery, where stars are born. It is one of the largest and brightest nebulae in the sky and hosts many stars much more massive than our sun.

Webb’s study of the gas giant planet WASP-96b will be the first full color spectrum of an exoplanet. The spectrum will include different wavelengths of light that could reveal new information about the planet, such as whether it has an atmosphere. Discovered in 2014, WASP-96b is located 1,150 light-years from Earth. It has half the mass of Jupiter and completes an orbit around its star every 3.4 days.

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The Southern Ring Nebula, also called the “Eight Burst”, is 2,000 light-years from Earth. This large planetary nebula comprises an expanding cloud of gas around a dying star.

The space telescope’s view of Stefan’s Quintet will reveal how the galaxies interact with each other. This compact galaxy group, first discovered in 1787, is located 290 million light-years away in the constellation Pegasus. Four of the group’s five galaxies “are locked in a cosmic dance of repeated close encounters,” according to a NASA statement.

The targets were selected by an international committee, including members from NASA, the European Space Agency, the Canadian Space Agency and the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore.

Look forward

These will be the first of many images to come from Webb, the most powerful telescope ever launched into space. The mission, originally expected to last for 10 years, has enough excess fuel capacity to operate for 20 years, according to NASA deputy administrator Pam Melroy.

“Webb can look back in time to just after the big bang by looking for galaxies that are so far away, it took light many billions of years to get from those galaxies to ourselves,” said Jonathan Gardner, Webb’s deputy senior scientist at NASA. , during a recent press conference. “Webb is bigger than Hubble, so it can see fainter galaxies that are farther away.”

The original goal for the telescope was to see the universe’s first stars and galaxies, essentially seeing “the universe turn on the lights for the first time,” said Eric Smith, Webb program scientist and chief scientist of NASA’s Astrophysics Division.

Smith has worked at Webb since the project began in the mid-1990s.

“The James Webb Space Telescope will give us a fresh and powerful set of eyes to examine our universe,” Smith wrote in an update on NASA’s website. “The world is about to become young again.”

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President Biden reveals stunning first image from NASA’s new James Webb Telescope, deepest view of universe ever captured Source link President Biden reveals stunning first image from NASA’s new James Webb Telescope, deepest view of universe ever captured

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