James Webb Unfolds The Universe, Unveils Deepest Images
OpenLife Nigeria has learned that the deepest and sharpest infrared image of the early universe ever taken have been unveiled by the James Webb Space Telescope in the United States of America.
The James Webb Space Telescope is an international collaboration between NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the ESA – European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency. The Space Telescope Science Institute is the science and mission operations center for Webb.
Information obtained by OpenLife says it was “All in a day’s work for the Webb telescope.”
Literally, Webb was able to capture the image in less than one day, while similar deep field images from Hubble can take multiple weeks.
According to the account, “This is Webb’s first image released as we begin to #UnfoldTheUniverse: nasa.gov/webbfirstimages/
If you held a grain of sand up to the sky at arm’s length, that tiny speck is the size of Webb’s view in this image. Imagine — galaxies galore within a grain, including light from galaxies that traveled billions of years to us! Why do some of the galaxies in this image appear bent? The combined mass of this galaxy cluster acts as a “gravitational lens,” bending light rays from more distant galaxies behind it, magnifying them.
This image isn’t the farthest back we’ve ever observed. Non-infrared missions like COBE and WMAP saw the universe much closer to the Big Bang (about 380,000 years after), when there was only microwave background radiation, but no stars or galaxies yet. Webb sees a few hundred million years after the Big Bang.
Reacting, former President Barack Obama recalled his early days excitement when he sat on his grandfather’s shoulder in Hawaii to observe the activities of astronauts.
He stressed the importance of exploring opportunities to reach new heights as part of America’s pattern of global leadership.
Obama who expressed his feelings wrote on his Facebook wall: One of my earliest memories is sitting on my grandfather’s shoulders, waving a flag as astronauts splashed down in Hawai’i. For me, the space program has always captured an essential part of what it means to be an American—reaching for new heights, stretching beyond what previously seemed possible.
These fascinating new images from the NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope offer a view of the universe that we’ve never seen before, and will inspire a new generation to look deeper into space. Congratulations to everybody who made this possible—I’m excited to see more!
Source: NASA, ESA, CSA, and STScI