The National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA) released the “deepest and sharpest” image of the universe to date, from the James Webb Space Telescope on Monday. The image that broke the internet with over 3.5 m likes on Instagram and over 400 k likes on Twitter, shows thousands of galaxies including the faintest objects ever observed in four colors.
Webb’s First Deep Field
The stunning shot of “galaxy cluster SMACS 0723” was captured by the largest and most powerful telescope ever built, JWST, and was released in a White House briefing by President Joe Biden. While releasing the image, President Biden said, “Today is a historic day… This is a historic moment, for America and all of humanity.
The first image from the Webb Space Telescope represents a historic moment for science and technology. For astronomy and space exploration.
And for America and all humanity. pic.twitter.com/cI2UUQcQXj
— President Biden (@POTUS) July 11, 2022
The image is the farthest humanity has ever seen in both time and distance, closer to the dawn of time and the edge of the universe. The space agency will release more galactic images from the telescope’s initial outward gazes at 10.30 am Tuesday, Eastern Time (ET) or at 8 pm Tuesday, Indian Standard Time (IST) on NASA’s website and social media accounts.
As per the details, the image has the oldest documented light in the history of the universe. The image shows the galaxy cluster SMACS 0723 as it appeared 4.6 billion years ago.
Webb’s 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 administrator Bill Nelson said.
NASA considers the images to be the beginning of Webb’s scientific operations. “The release of these first images marks the official beginning of Webb’s science operations, which will continue to explore the mission’s key science themes,” NASA said.
The JWST was constructed by aerospace giant Northrop Grumman Corp and was launched to space for NASA and its European and Canadian counterparts in December 2021 from French Guiana. It has five introductory targets including the new stars – the Carina Nebula and the Southern Ring Nebula, each thousand of light-years away from Earth.