NASA's Jaw-Dropping First JWST Images Of Invisible Galaxies Will Blow You Away
Wednesday, July 13, 2022, 11:06 AM EDT
NASA has released the first images from the James Webb Space Telescope, and they are nothing short of breathtaking. The first full-color images marked the beginning of Webb's general science operations of deep space, bringing into view parts of the universe that were previously invisible to us.
The wait seemed to take forever for all those who yearned to view deep space like never before, but the day finally arrived yesterday. NASA shared the first full-color images with the world during a live event, and the iconic space telescope did not disappoint. From the "mountains" and "valleys" of the Carina Nebula, to the rings of gas and dust of the Southern Ring Nebula, JWST astounded and amazed all those who watched the reveal.
Social media was all abuzz as the first images were shared by NASA, with people such as Neil deGrasse Tyson sharing the images on his Facebook page. The 'oohs' and 'ahhs' could be heard in the heads of all those who took in the awe inspiring images. Webb's official Twitter account shared the images as well, stating "A star is born!" as it shared the image of the Carina Nebula (seen in top image).
Stephen's Quintet is a set of five galaxies, best known for being featured in the classic "It's a Wonderful Life." The image is Webb's largest mosaic shared to date, as it covers about one-fifth of the Moon's diameter. The image consists of over 150 million pixels and is pieced together utilizing nearly 1,000 separate image files.
Another image shared featured the Southern Ring Nebula, showcasing a star at the center that has been sending out rings of gas and dust for thousands of years in all directions, according to NASA. Webb revealed for the first time that this star is "cloaked in dust". The image was captured by two cameras aboard Webb, and displays the nebula which is located about 2,500 light-years from away.
One of the first images was actually shared the day before during a live event featuring the President and Vice President of the United States. SMACS 0723 provided the deepest and sharpest infrared image of the distant universe to date. It includes thousands of galaxies, including the faintest objects ever observed in infrared light.
The future is most definitely bright for Webb, as it begins its journey of capturing the Universe and deep space in more detail than ever before. The mysteries of what is beyond are just waiting to be revealed, and JWST may be the tool that will uncover them. If you would like to see the above images in greater detail, you can visit NASA's gallery.