James Webb Space Telescope: Humanity’s View of the Past

Humanity’s search for answers to the mysteries of the universe proves one thing: trying to understand how something works does not diminish its beauty, but enhances it.

Earlier this week James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) – built NASA, European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency sent us their first five images of space. The successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, which launched in April 1990, the JSWT has revealed breathtaking views of the universe that we have never seen before, mesmerizing mankind with images of space rocks and exploding stars.

“Every image is a new discovery,” said NASA administrator Bill Nelson. “Each of them will give humanity a view of the universe that we have never seen before.”

The photographs, which showcase the capabilities of a $10 billion telescope designed to look far into space and time, are some of the best views of the universe ever taken.

JSWT, one of the most expensive and complex objects ever sent into space, was placed in

at the end of last year.

While the Hubble Space Telescope orbits the Earth at an altitude of about 570 km, the JWST does not actually orbit the Earth. Instead, it orbits the Sun at a distance of 1.5 million kilometers from Earth, at the so-called second Lagrange point, or L2, allowing humanity to look deeper into space than ever before.

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“This slice of the vast universe covers a patch of sky roughly the size of a grain of sand held at arm’s length by someone on earth,” NASA said in a press release.

What is the purpose of JWST?

It aims to achieve four goals:

  • Help researchers understand how the first stars and galaxies formed after the Big Bang.
  • Compare the galaxies of the distant past with the galaxies of the present (in the second phase of the mission)
  • Explore regions of the universe where stars and planetary systems are formed so scientists can study them.
  • Study the atmospheres of planets outside our solar system in the hope of discovering the elements needed for life as we know it somewhere else in space. It will also explore objects in our solar system.

How long will it be used?

According to NASA, the Webb object has the resources to continue operating for more than 10 years. It has a five-year operating outlook, but is not limited to that.

Who was James Webb?

James E. Webb was NASA administrator from February 1961 to October 1968. According to NASA’s website, he was the government official who made the most contributions to science, making him a fitting choice to name his next generation space telescope after.

Now let’s get to the pictures.

Stephan’s quint: space samba

Stephen's QuintetETtech

The strange interaction of five galaxies is depicted in detail in Stephan’s quintet, which was discovered by the French astronomer Edouard Stephan in 1877. The final image, which is the largest of the JWSTs, consists of approximately 1000 individual images.

The image shows a supermassive black hole with a mass of almost 24 million solar masses, located in the core of the uppermost galaxy.

The South Rim Nebula: A Dying Star’s Last Appearance

southern ring nebulaETtech

South Rim Nebula“or NGC 3132 is a planetary nebula observed by JWST, giving researchers additional insight into what happens to stars as they approach the end of their life cycle. light (left) using a NIRCam scope, and another using a mid-infrared sensor on the JWST (right).

The region of cosmic dust and gas produced by dying stars is known as the planetary nebula. However, NASA says this new image from JWST provides additional information about the exquisite structures surrounding the binary star system. This particular object, about 2500 light-years away, was also captured by the Hubble Space Telescope.

The Carina Nebula: A Painting in Deep Space

space rocksETtech

The edge of a nearby young star-forming region called NGC 3324 Carina Nebula this is how this panorama of “mountains” and “valleys” dotted with sparkling stars looks like. James Webb The space telescope’s infrared camera captured this image, showing for the first time star-forming regions that were previously hidden.

Webb’s image, known as the “Space Rocks”, depicts what appear to be rocky mountains on a moonlit night. The largest “peaks” in this image, about seven light-years high, are actually the boundary of a huge gas cavity inside NGC 3324.

Double the Hubble

The most important difference between the two observatories lies in their vastly different imaging capabilities.

Image ComparisonETtech

To better capture light at wavelengths visible to the human eye, the Hubble telescope was built as an optical space observatory. But when it came to viewing the distant universe, that proved to be a disadvantage.

As the universe expands and the rate of that expansion increases, objects captured by telescope cameras are subject to a phenomenon known as redshift, in which the light they emit is stretched to longer wavelengths, towards the red end of the spectrum. Eventually, it becomes infrared and therefore invisible to the human eye.

JSWT was designed to solve this problem by making it capable of capturing infrared images.

In addition, JWST’s mirror is much larger than Hubble’s, meaning it can see further into space and even further back in time.