First Image from NASA’s Webb Space Telescope
The image below of galaxy cluster SMACS 0723, known as Webb’s First Deep Field, delivers the deepest Infrared image of the universe yet.
Webb is an international program led by NASA with its partners, ESA (European Space Agency) and CSA (Canadian Space Agency).
The first released James Webb Space Telescope image covers a patch of sky approximately the size of a grain of sand held at arm’s length by someone on the ground — and reveals thousands of galaxies in a tiny sliver of vast universe.
NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has produced 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. The first released JWST image covers a patch of sky approximately the size of a grain of sand held at arm’s length by someone on the ground — and reveals thousands of galaxies in a tiny sliver of vast universe.
The image shows the galaxy cluster SMACS 0723 as it appeared 4.6 billion years ago. The combined mass of this galaxy cluster acts as a gravitational lens, magnifying much more distant galaxies behind it. Webb’s NIRCam has brought those distant galaxies into sharp focus — they have tiny, faint structures that have never been seen before, including star clusters and diffuse features. Researchers will soon begin to learn more about the galaxies’ masses, ages, histories, and compositions, as Webb seeks the earliest galaxies in the universe.
Speaking at the briefing event at the White House with VP Kamala Harris and President Biden both present, NASA Administrator, Bill Nelson talked through the image and what it represents at a high level. “President if you held the grain of sand on the tip of your finger at arm’s length, that is the part of the universe that you’re seeing just one little speck of the universe, and what you’re seeing there are galaxies. You’re seeing galaxies that are shining around other galaxies whose light has been bent and you’re seeing just a small little portion of the universe”
Bill Nelson went on to share “There’s another thing that you’re going to find with this telescope. It is going to be so precise. You’re going to see whether or not planets, because of the chemical composition that we can determine with this telescope. of their atmosphere, if those planets are habitable. And when you look at something as big as this is, we are going to be able to answer questions that we don’t even know what the questions are yet”.
At Naaut we are so excited about the future discoveries of Exoplanets by looking for bio-hints and signatures. The application of artificial intelligence and machine learning can help greatly to achieve the processing of large data and the detection of exoplanets. The prospect of finding other Earth-like exoplanets in goldilocks zones might well be a bigger discovery than all of us on this planet! While the distances we’d have to travel to get there might be unimaginable, this historic moment might well shape the philosophies of our place in our solar system and wider galaxy.
It’s important to note, that while tonight’s briefing was hosted by NASA for the POTUS and VP, Webb is an international program led by NASA with its partners, ESA (European Space Agency) and CSA (Canadian Space Agency. Also, James Webb Space Telescope is an international collaboration with hundreds of scientists and thousands of engineers. This moment is a testament to their hard work and the work they will all build on to make the discoveries we’ve not yet fathomed!
Today is a truly historic moment and in a few hours, I will be up to speak on national radio at Breakfast at BBC 5 Live as we prepare to celebrate the release of a suite of images for the wider community. On the 12 July we will see for the first time: the deepest image of our Universe ever taken, Webb’s first exoplanet spectrum, and images of interacting galaxies and stellar life cycle snapshots.
The image above that we celebrate tonight is among the telescope’s first-full color images. The full suite will be released Tuesday, July 12, beginning at 10:30 a.m. EDT which is 15:30- 17:00 BST, during a live NASA TV broadcast. Learn more about how to watch.