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What the first images from JWST show us

NASA just released the first full-color images from the James Webb Space Telescope. These images, including the deepest infrared image of our universe ever, are a preview to how JWST will change our understanding of the cosmos. So what else does this first batch of photos reveal?

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00:00 – 00:31 Intro
00:31 – 01:00 About JWST
1:00 – 01:39 Commissioning Phase
1:39 – 02:18 Deepest Image Ever
02:18 – 02:48 Carina Nebula
02:48 – 03:05 Southern Ring
03:05 – 03:20 Stephan’s Quintet
03:20 – 03:54 Exoplanet Spectrum
03:54 – 05:04 Scientist Reactions
05:04 – 05:16 End Credits

NASA showed off the first full-color images captured by the James Webb Space Telescope. And these images are just a glimpse into what JWST can really do. It took two and a half decades to build and launch JWST, the largest and most advanced space telescope ever built. Unlike its predecessor Hubble, Webb can observe way farther into the infrared part of the spectrum, giving it an even better look at the first galaxies formed after the Big Bang. The telescope will help us understand how the cosmos began, and whether we’re alone out there.

First, we have the deepest and sharpest infrared image ever taken of our universe. It’s a region full of thousands of galaxies. And because the light from these distant objects takes so long to reach us, we’re seeing them as they were when the universe was less than a billion years old.

Then there’s the Carina Nebula, a stellar nursery. This image provides a glimpse into how stars form. It was imaged by Hubble…but this new view reveals new stars…and some new mysteries.

On the other end of the stellar life cycle, there’s the Southern Ring. It’s a region of cosmic dust and gas that surrounds a dying star. The telescope captured two views in different chunks of the infrared spectrum, revealing a clearer view of the binary star at the nebula’s center.

Then there’s Stephan’s Quintet, a compact group of five galaxies. Highlights here are two galaxies in the process of merging, and a region of extremely bright gas being pulled into a black hole.

And finally, this is the telescope’s first spectrum of an exoplanet’s atmosphere. This graph reveals the atmospheric composition of a large, hot planet far from our own solar system. Data like this can reveal whether a world may sustain life as we know it….in this case, we can see the tell-tale signs of water vapor.

Read more:
Marvel At The First Batch Of Full-Color Images From NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope
Today’s images each showcase an exciting ability of the observatory — and they’re only a jumping-off point of what’s to come. It’s got approximately 20 years left in its lifespan to serve up more delicious astronomical treats.
How Engineers Got The World’s Most Powerful Space Telescope Ready to Do Science
But, before JWST can start collecting all these baby pictures of the cosmos, NASA and STScI, which oversees the telescope’s operations and science, needed to know that all of JWST’s state-of-the-art instruments and hardware could actually work in tandem to get the job done.

What to Expect From NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope Launch
“I really do think that this telescope will be transformational for astrophysics,” says Straughn. “I think that we will learn things about the Universe that completely surprise us, and that’s one of the most exciting prospects about any time we put a big, bold telescope like this into space. We learn things that we never expected.”


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