Webb Space Telescope: NASA unveils deepest Infrared images of Universe

The Webb Space Telescope project is led by NASA, accompanied by its International partners, European Space Agency and Canadian Space Agency

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On Monday, July 11, President Joe Biden unveiled one of the James Webb Space Telescope’s first images in a preview event at the White House in Washington. The deepest and sharpest infrared image of the far-off universe up to date has been produced. Known as Webb’s First Deep Field, the image is of the galaxy cluster SMACS 0723, which is overflowing with minute details.

It has happened for the first time that the faintest objects have been observed in the infrared, besides thousands of galaxies. The images capture a slice of the vast universe by covering the patch of the sky almost approximately the size of a grain of sand held at arm’s length by a person on the ground.

This deep field image, taken by Webb’s Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam), is a composite made from the images taken from different wavelengths, which is approximately totaling 12.5 hours – achieving insightful depths at infrared wavelengths beyond the Hubble Space Telescope’s deepest fields, which took weeks.

The image unveiled shows the galaxy SMACS 0723 exactly the way how it appeared 4.6 billion years ago. A galaxy cluster whose mass combined altogether acts as a gravitational lens, which magnifies much more galaxies behind it. Webb’s NIRCam has provided the image of distant galaxies in the form of sharp focus - they have tiny, faint structures that have never been seen before, including the star clusters and diffuse features.

James Webb Space Telescope & its Importance?

The telescope worth $10bn is the world’s premier space science observatory. It was launched on December, 25th last year as the successor to the prominent Hubble Space Telescope. Webb is designed to solve the mystery in our solar system, to look far beyond the distant worlds around the other stars, and to get the details of other mysterious structures, besides getting us the details of our universe’s origin and our place in it. Webb Space is an international program spearheaded by NASA in joint collaboration with ESA, European Space Agency, and CSA, Canadian Space Agency.

The purpose with which it has been designed is to make all sorts of observations in the sky, but two of the biggest approach of this telescope are, To take pictures of the very first stars to shine in the Universe more than 13.5 billion years ago and the other one is to find out whether the far-off planets are habitable or not?

NIRCam, one of the most crucial components of the telescope was built by a team at the University of Arizona and Lockheed Marin’s Advanced Technology Centre.

The image that is out officially from NASA is among the telescope’s first-full color images. The full suite of it will be released on July 12th, Tuesday, beginning at 10.30 a.m. EDT, during a live NASA TV broadcast.