Through The Deep Space Telescope In Galaxies Far, Far Away

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Through The Deep Space Telescope In Galaxies Far, Far Away

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Just as scientists say that the universe is ever-expanding, our own understanding of just how far the universe might extend has also expanded exponentially with the release of the first image from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope.

JWST is the first telescope to be launched into deep space from Earth. The first image taken by JWST, known as Webb’s First Deep Field, depicts galaxy cluster SMACS 0723 and it quite literally overflows with extraordinary detail.

The image is the deepest and sharpest infrared image from the far reaches of the universe taken to date, though even that momentous milestone will change tomorrow when NASA releases more images.

Via JWST, we can now observe thousands of galaxies – including the faintest objects ever observed in the infrared – that were hitherto invisible to us.

This photograph from the vast universe shows an area of the sky that approximates to the size of a grain of sand held at arm’s length by someone on the ground.

The incredibly detailed image released earlier today by NASA, the first image produced by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). The red/orange streaks and blotches indicate far off galaxies that could not be seen by the JWST’s immediate predecessor, The Hubble Telescope. Photo credit: NASA

At the launch of the image, NASA Chief Bill Nelson also promised at the briefing that the image was only the first of many to come, with subsequent images to look further and deeper into space.

“That light that you’re seeing on one of those little specs has been travelling for over 13 billion years,” he says.

“And we’re going back further – this is just the first image … we know the universe is 13.8 billion years old we’re going almost back to the beginning.”

Mr Nelson says that not only will the telescope help investigate the earliest moments of the universe, but its precision and clarity will also help in the search for other habitable planets.

“It is going to be so precise you’re going to see whether or not planets – because of the chemical composition … are habitable.”

An artist’s impression of the James Webb Space Telescope in operation. Launched last year, the telescope will help reveal the secrets of the universe’s beginning. CREDIT: NASA

The JWS telescope was launched in December last year as a successor to the famous Hubble telescope.

The $13 billion project is a collaboration between NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space agency and will enable further investigations into astronomy and cosmology.

A full suite of images captured by the James Webb Space Telescope will be released July 12 and will include unprecedented views of distant galaxies, bright nebulae, and a faraway giant gas planet.

An international committee decided the first wave of full-colour scientific images would also include the Carina Nebula, an enormous cloud of dust and gas 7,600 light years away, as well as the Southern Ring Nebula, which surrounds a dying star 2,000 light years away.

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