For those who have been waiting on the first images from the James Webb Space Telescope, NASA gave an early preview yesterday. The image that was shared was part of an event held at the White House that included the President of the United States. While the event was broadcast live, it ended short of sharing any other photos ahead of today’s scheduled reveal event. NASA also shared the first image on its Twitter feed following the broadcasted briefing with President Biden.
The image is similar in nature to the test image that the space agency shared at the beginning of July. The latest image is billed as being the “deepest and sharpest picture of the distant universe up to now,” by NASA.
One of the similarities between the test image and the latest image is that brighter stars are seen with their trademark six, long, sharply defined diffraction spikes, an effect that is due to Webb’s six-sided mirror segments. Dimmer stars and galaxies fill out the rest of the background.
The image shared with President Biden is of galaxy cluster SMACS 0723. It includes thousands of galaxies, including the faintest objects ever observed in the infrared. NASA says that “this slice of the huge universe covers a patch of sky roughly the scale of a grain of sand held at arm’s size by somebody on the bottom.”
Today’s release of images is said to be done one by one, and will be broadcast live via the YouTube player above, or on NASA’s webpage July 12, 2022, at 10:30 a.m. EDT. NASA will also be posting the images as they are released on its website.
Regardless of how you view the images, it is great to finally arrive at the moment they can be shared. The journey of JWST has taken it nearly a million miles from Earth, but it has truly just begun. We look forward to many more images captured by this incredible space telescope, and all that it will reveal. Be sure to keep checking back with HotHardware, as we will continue to bring you the latest with JWST.
Top Image Credit: NASA/ESA/CSA