First Image Taken By the JWST Reveals Deepest Infrared View of Space

An image of the cosmos taken by the JWST has been released in full color, revealing one of the deepest infrared views of space ever taken.

A European Ariane 5 rocket launched the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) into space on Christmas Day 2021 after 25 years and over 10 billion dollars.

As Webb’s primary mirror stretched to 6.5 meters and its sunshield reached tennis court dimensions, both had to be folded up to fit in the rocket’s fairing. It was then deployed step by step during the first two weeks of its mission.

James Webb Space Telescope’s first images of space will be released today, 12 July, and everyone is eagerly anticipating them.

The first image taken by the James Webb Space Telescope

This is the deep field image taken by the James Webb Space Telescope. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, and STScI.
This is the deep field image taken by the James Webb Space Telescope. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, and STScI.

A deep infrared image of the distant Universe was released as the first image from the James Webb Space Telescope.

The image has become known as Webb’s First Deep Field after following in the footsteps of Hubble’s Deep Field.

SMACS 0723 is shown, and thousands of galaxies can be seen in the background, including some of the faintest objects ever seen in the Universe.

It was produced using 12.5 hours’ worth of images captured at different wavelengths from a Webb Telescope instrument called the Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam).

By peering so far into space, Webb was able to observe distant light that has traveled throughout the cosmos for billions of years.

This means galaxy cluster SMACS 0723 appears here as it would have appeared 4.6 billion years ago.

Observing deep space and learning more about the early Universe is one of Webb’s key science goals in the coming years.

In addition, the image demonstrates a phenomenon known as gravitational lensing.

As a result of the combined mass of galaxy cluster SMACS 0723, the light from more distant galaxies behind it is being magnified and warped.

Astronomers can observe distant objects with greater clarity using this cosmic magnifying glass.

Furthermore, it explains why some distant galaxies appear curved and warped in their light.

These distant galaxies and their tiny structures will now be analyzed and studied by astronomers.

More James Webb photos are on the way; when can we expect them?

James Webb Space Telescope images will be revealed on 12 July 2022, and NASA has revealed which objects will be shown.

You can watch NASA Live video stream below to watch a live broadcast introducing the Webb Telescope’s first images on 12 July at 10:30 EDT (15:30 BST):

In the past few months, NASA has released a series of calibration images that describe the telescope’s performance. However, the images released today will be the first actual JWST images.

To allow James Webb to observe the Universe, the space telescope’s mirrors needed to be aligned and calibrated to the harsh space environment.

According to a recent press conference, NASA scientists have reportedly been moved to tears by the first glimpses of JWST’s first images.

Comparison of images of SMACS 0723 taken by Hubble and more recently by James Webb (©NASA).
Comparison of images of SMACS 0723 taken by Hubble and more recently by James Webb (©NASA).

James Webb’s first images will show the following

The Carina Nebula

Around 7,600 lightyears away, in the southern constellation Carina, is the Carina Nebula.

Exoplanet WASP-96 b (spectrum)

Exoplanet WASP-96 b is a giant planet outside our Solar System. It is composed mainly of gas and is located just 1,150 lightyears away. It orbits its star every 3.4 Earth days and has about half the mass of Jupiter.

Southern Ring Nebula

Known as a planetary nebula, the Southern Ring Nebula is an expanding cloud of gas surrounding a dying star. Planetary nebulae get their name from their spherical, puffy appearance.

Stephan’s Quintet

This galaxy group can be found 290 million lightyears away in the constellation Pegasus.

SMACS 0723

SMACS 0723 is a galaxy cluster and the first target of the first image taken by the James Webb Space Telescope. Observed from Earth, gravitational lensing occurs in this region of space. Using gravity lensing, astronomers can observe the Universe through the magnifying effect of galaxy clusters on distant objects.


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