Behold, the Incredible First Image From NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope

The JWST lets humanity see farther into the early universe than ever before, and the first full-color image does not disappoint.

The first full-color image from NASA's James Webb Space Telescope—the most powerful telescope ever—was unveiled on Monday by President Biden during a livestream, and it's incredible. 

The James Webb Space Telescope, or JWST, is a technological innovation decades in the making that will allow humanity to look deeper into the early universe than ever before. It is 100 times more powerful than Hubble, and is expected to yield countless new insights about the universe we inhabit, its origins, and whether we are alone.

Understandably, images from the telescope have been highly anticipated by scientists and the public, and the reveal was certainly slow-rolled. The stream was scheduled for 5 p.m., rescheduled to 5:30, and then didn’t start until after 6 p.m. The wait was so unbearable that NASA’s hold music became a meme. Thankfully, JWST’s first taste did not disappoint. 

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The image shows light from stars and galaxies from 13 billion years ago, meaning they come from the very early universe, not long after the Big Bang.

Image: NASA

“We’re going back further, because this is just the first image,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson during the stream. “They’re going back about 13 and a half billion years, and since we know the universe is 13.8 billion years old, we’re going back almost to the beginning. That is the discovery that we’re making with this.”

JWST was launched into space on December 25, 2021. It had been under development since 1996 in collaboration with the European and Canadian space agencies, and faced numerous challenges including the threat of Congress cutting the project's funding

Monday's reveal is just the start for the telescope. On Tuesday, NASA will reveal even more images from the telescope's first haul, marking the beginning of JWST's science operations. Originally, Tuesday was supposed to be the big reveal, but over the weekend NASA made the surprise announcement that President Biden would be unveiling the first image on Monday, rankling some in the science community who had planned for the initial date.

The JWST is a “a new window into the history of our universe,” Biden said during the reveal. It will “remind the world that America can do big things, and remind the American people, especially children, that there is nothing beyond our capacity,” he said.

Regardless, we're in for some incredible images from space, and whatever astounding new discoveries they will bring.  

Tagged:

worldnews, James Webb, jwst, nasa, biden, Space

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