The first image of the James Webb Space Telescope did not disappoint. Although it’s just one sample of what the telescope can achieve, it is stunning.
Imagine the image is but a grain of sand on the biggest beach you’ve ever been on. This grain of sand, this image, shows countless galaxies each with billions of stars. Now imagine billions of grains of sands and you start to understand how big, how vast the known universe is. And while the James Webb Space Telescope can peer over 13 billion years into the past, almost to the what we think is the age of the universe, it will also be able to detect whether other planets could have an atmosphere that can support life as we know it. It’s just stunning. Tomorrow NASA will reveal several more images.
The James Webb Space Telescope is an international collaboration that includes NASA, the member states of the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency. Read more on Canada’s contributions.
Here’s is the text that released with the image:
“On Monday, July 11, President Joe Biden released one of the James Webb Space Telescope’s first images in a preview event at the White House in Washington. NASA, in partnership with ESA (European Space Agency) and CSA (Canadian Space Agency), will release the full set of Webb’s first full-color images and spectroscopic data during a televised broadcast beginning at 10:30 a.m. EDT (14:30 UTC) on Tuesday, July 12, from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Learn more about how to watch.”
“This first image from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope is the deepest and sharpest infrared image of the distant universe to date. Known as Webb’s First Deep Field, this image of galaxy cluster SMACS 0723 is overflowing with detail. Thousands of galaxies – including the faintest objects ever observed in the infrared – have appeared in Webb’s view for the first time. This slice of the vast universe covers a patch of sky approximately the size of a grain of sand held at arm’s length by someone on the ground.”