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NASA Just Released the Most Detailed Space Photos Ever

NASA has revealed the first photographs from the $5 billion James Webb Space Telescope, a 20-year undertaking.

President Biden released the deepest infrared photograph of space on Monday. It shows the galaxy cluster SMACS 0723, 4.6 billion light-years away, and ancient galaxies, 13 billion light-years away. NASA said this slice of the universe is the size of a grain of sand held at arm’s length.

NASA released four photos. The first figure is a “indirect” graph depicting WASP-96 b’s atmospheric composition, which shows water. Three are direct images. One depicts the Southern Ring Nebula, where planets are created in fading star clouds, and another captures Stephan’s Quintet (mentioned in It’s a Wonderful Life).

The last photo is jaw-dropping. Webb photographed the Carina Nebula with such resolution that the image almost looks three-dimensional. Because the telescope observes infrared light, it can “see” stars within the Carina Nebula cloud that weren’t apparent in visible-light photographs.

Webb is the largest and most powerful telescope ever built. Its high-resolution infrared sensors can observe both nearby and distant astronomical objects. The project began in 1996 but wasn’t completed until 2021.

Webb spent a month traveling to L2, about a million kilometers from Earth, after launch. Since then, it has been calibrating its instruments to image space in unprecedented detail.

The telescope’s formal activities began with the release of these photos. Now we can use Webb to understand the cosmos.

Webb will be used by scientists worldwide. The telescope will catch photographs of 13.5 billion-year-old stars and galaxies, as well as star-birthing clouds of dust. It will also study planets in our solar system and exoplanets beyond, looking for life’s building ingredients.

NASA Just Released the Most Detailed Space Photos Ever

NASA Just Released the Most Detailed Space Photos Ever
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NASA has revealed the first photographs from the $5 billion James Webb Space Telescope, a 20-year undertaking.
NASA has revealed the first photographs from the $5 billion James Webb Space Telescope, a 20-year undertaking.
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