Galaxilicious! NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope Reveals Deepest Image Of the Early Universe
Recently, NASA revealed the deepest infrared view of the Universe taken by the powerful James Webb Space Telescope, and it’s so beautiful than we could have imagined. James Webb Space Telescope is the most powerful observatory ever placed in orbit. It offers the deepest look of the cosmos ever captured.
In a NASA Livestream, Joe Biden, President of the United States, released a new image of a region of space known as SMACS 0723 – a deep field into the distant Universe.
“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,” Biden said in a tweet.
“This telescope is one of humanity’s great engineering achievements,” he said.
Thanks to the powerful capabilities of JWST. It’s the furthest back in time we’ve peered into the Universe to date. In this beautiful image of SMACS 0723, we can see some bright, spiky points. Those points are the nearby stars. Interestingly, every tiny oval-shaped structure and every gleaming blob in this picture is a distant galaxy. Some of the galaxies are the part of SMACS 0723 cluster.
We’re not bragging. It’s true. The SMACS 0723 cluster is so massive that its extremely powerful gravity warps the light coming from other distant galaxies. The SMACS 0723 cluster acts as a gravitational lens, magnifying much more distant galaxies behind it. Known as Webb’s First Deep Field, the SMACS 0723 acts as a gravitational lens, magnifying much more distant galaxies behind it.
“For the first time, we can see the details of these earliest galaxies, harboring the first generations of stars to have ever formed in the Universe. These galaxies formed in a mostly dark universe, filled with neutral hydrogen gas, and very different to the cosmos we see today,” astronomer Cathryn Trott from the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, who wasn’t involved in the research, told Scimex.
“This image captures the starlight from the earliest objects to have formed in the first few hundred million years after the Big Bang. This starlight is more than 13 billion years old, focussed toward JWST by the incredible bending power of a massive cluster of younger galaxies.”
Currently, Infrared Vision is the best and most effective tool we have for looking into the deepest regions of the universe. Soon, JWST will reveal new and key details about the birth of our Universe.
Webb compiled the composite shot in 12.5 hours. In this image of SMACS 0723, we can see thousands of galaxies. We’re seeing some of the galaxies in the cluster for the first time, including the faintest objects we’ve ever seen in infrared.
“We’ve got used to seeing Hubble Telescope images of distant galaxy clusters embellished with the distorted forms of even more galaxies beyond, magnified by the gravity of the foreground cluster,” said renowned Australian astronomer Fred Watson from the Australian Department of Industry, Science, Energy, and Resources.
“But the first released image from the Webb telescope takes us into a breathtaking new regime of detail and depth, with galaxies at unprecedented distances now revealed. It’s a stunning taster of what is to come from this superb instrument.”
He said: “The Webb telescope’s capabilities are tuned to address some of the most profound questions in our exploration of the Universe. When did the first stars and galaxies form? How did they evolve? And what can we learn about the exoplanets orbiting stars in the Sun’s neighborhood – including their potential for harboring life?”
“The quest for exploration is written in our DNA. This is why we climb mountains, we dive, we fly and we go into space. This image has put our feet into a new higher ground: we can see further than ever, we can see more than ever, we can be closer to our own Universe cradle,” Paulo de Souza, Dean of Research at Griffith Sciences at Griffith University in Australia, told Scimex.
“Everything we see in that image was set nearly 13 billion years ago. Right now, we could well have nothing left there. To know what was there now, we would need to look back there again in 13 billion years’ time. This image is a snapshot of a distant past,” he said.
NASA estimates Webb has enough propellant for a 20-year life.
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