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NASA Releases Spectacular James Webb Space Telescopes Images

NASA Releases Spectacular James Webb Space Telescopes Images

NASA has a long list of intriguing targets that are next on Webb’s viewing agenda.

We have been following the travels of the James Webb Space Telescope, and it has arrived at its destination one million miles from Earth.

The last time we checked on the unit, the instrument had sent back its first images as part of the complex process of aligning its array of mirrors.

Now the telescope is fully operational, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) returned has deep field” photo capturing the faint light of uncounted suns in thousands of never-before-seen galaxies.

The image, dubbed Webb’s First Deep Field, is the deepest infrared view of the universe to date, making use of both JWST’s powerful optics and the technique of gravitational lensing to see the galaxy cluster SMACS 0723 as it looked 4.6 billion years ago, according to a NASA statement (opens in new tab).

Webb’s First Deep Field was captured by the observatory’s Near-Infrared Camera, or NIRCam, which was the final instrument on the telescope to be approved for full science operations.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson offered some background on the shared images.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson described the image to the president, saying all the stars and galaxies it encompassed were located in an area of space the size of a grain of sand held at arm’s length by someone standing on Earth.

“We’re looking back more than 13 billion years,” he said. “That light that you are seeing has been traveling for over 13 billion years, and by the way, we’re going back farther. This is just the first image. They’re going back about thirteen-and-a-half billion years. And since we know the universe is 13.8 billion years old, we’re going back almost to the beginning.”

NASA plans to release additional “first light” images Tuesday, photos designed to showcase Webb’s ability to chart the details of stellar evolution, from starbirth to death by supernova, to study how galaxies form, merge and evolve and to probe the chemical composition of atmospheres around planets orbiting other stars.

As a reminder, the James Webb is 100 times more powerful than the iconic Hubble Space Telescope, which has already contributed spectacular images and important astronomical data. At this point, all of the ways or ‘modes’ to operate Webb’s scientific instruments have now been checked out and the instrument is ready to begin full scientific operations.

NASA has an impressive list of targets that are next on its viewing agenda.

The Carina Nebula is one of the brightest and biggest nebulae in space, located about 7,600 light-years away in the southern constellation called Carina.

Nebulae are stellar nurseries where stars are birthed and this particular one is home to many gigantic stars, including some larger than the sun.

The Southern Ring nebula, also known as the ‘Eight-Burst’ nebula, is a planetary nebula – basically an exploding cloud of gas that’s surrounded by a dying star.

According to NASA, it’s nearly half a light-year in diameter and is located about 2,000 light years away from Earth.

Next on the list is WASP-96 b, which is a giant planet outside of our solar system that’s composed mainly of gas.

This planet is located 1,150 light-years from Earth and orbits its star every 3.4 days.

WASP-96 b has about half the mass of Jupiter and was discovered in 2014.

I can’t wait for the next series of images!

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Metadata or it didn’t happen.

Dear galaxies… you be careful out there…ya heah?

Is it real, or is it Memorex?

God does good work. Two things frighten me. First, that he created all of this and only put one sapient race in charge of it. Second, that he could easily have plunked one sapient race on each of the galaxies and we’d never know with a mere 5,000 years or so in our history so far.

I plan on asking when I get there. Maybe there’s a third or fourth option I’m not seeing.

Because of light pollution I rarely get to see the stars. As an unfortunate consequence I don’t ponder the wonder of it all too often. NASA photos help put me in my tiny, tiny place in the cosmos. The distances involved as simply beyond my mind to fathom.

And to those who say, “There is no God,” why do you kid yourself?

    henrybowman in reply to fscarn. | July 12, 2022 at 5:54 pm

    In New England, it was light and all those damn trees. (When Shuttles or the ISS were making a pass, we had to plan to drive to a country lane that ran in the same direction.)

    Out here 40 miles from Phoenix, it’s occasional clouds and the phase of the moon… otherwise, lay back in the pool and have at it all night.

      We’re just staring to have clear nights in Clallam co. Relaxing in the hot tub, we’d count shooting stars into the dozens, or sometimes small satellites speeding by. Periodically the northern lights made an appearance, turning the night sky green. And the international space station passed over head like the brightest star in the sky. Not too many clear nights though on account of marine climate and haze/mist.

      What I wonder about the new pics, silly I suppose, but how will it affect Sci Fi? The star fields zipping by as the Enterprise was doing warp whatever. Simple points of light should be more a kaleidoscope of galaxies than individual stars – unless we’re to believe they were always in a galaxy and not between galaxies.

    gibbie in reply to fscarn. | July 12, 2022 at 10:36 pm

    The inability of city dwellers to see stars explains a lot of their madness.

It BETTER be freaking spectacular.

They were how many years late and how many billions of dollars overbudget?

    daniel_ream in reply to Olinser. | July 12, 2022 at 7:25 pm

    I call them Roddenberry Conservatives. Opposed to wasteful government spending, unless it’s on the complete dumpster fire of taxpayer money that is anything to do with space.

    Star Trek was Roddenberry’s socialist propaganda fantasy hiding in a kid’s show, which is how they got the propaganda past the censors. That so many “conservatives” are incapable of seeing that, and translate their childhood nostalgia into uncritical acceptance of anything that says “space” on it, is why there’s no hope for the West.