NASA’s James Webb telescope has delivered the deepest, sharpest infrared images of the universe yet with new photos shared with the public on Tuesday.
NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) began collaborating on the telescope in 1996. Other organizations participating in the project include the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Northrop Grumman, and Montgomery County’s neighbor, the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center out of Greenbelt.
Named after NASA’s administrator during the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs, the James Webb telescope was launched into space in December 2021, out of French Guiana in South America.
The Webb telescope’s pictures are of the SMACS 0723 galaxy cluster. “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 [the] image,” NASA wrote in a tweet.
The telescope took less than a day to capture the first-of-their-kind images, which sees the universe a few 100 million years after the Big Bang. The Webb telescope is designed to take over focus from the Hubble telescope, which in comparison completes the same imagery collection in multiple weeks.
👀 Sneak a peek at the deepest & sharpest infrared image of the early universe ever taken — all in a day’s work for the Webb telescope. (Literally, capturing it took less than a day!) This is Webb’s first image released as we begin to #UnfoldTheUniverse: https://t.co/tlougFWg8B pic.twitter.com/Y7ebmQwT7j
— NASA Webb Telescope (@NASAWebb) July 11, 2022