|Image credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, and STScI. Click to enlarge (this is the full-resolution image).|
NASA has revealed the first image captured by the James Webb Space Telescope. The image ‘is the deepest and sharpest infrared image of the distant universe to date,’ according to NASA, and is officially known as ‘Webb’s First Deep Field.’
The image, captured with Webb’s Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam), shows off galaxy cluster SMACS 0723. The composite took roughly 12.5 hours to capture and is made from images captured at different wavelengths. In it, we see thousands of galaxies, some of which are distorted due to other galaxies acting as a gravitational lens by magnifying and warping the light emitting from the galaxies behind them. The image shows SMACS 0723 as it appeared roughly 4.6 billion years ago.
HUBBLE vs JWST: Here’s the difference. Welcome to a new era of astronomy. pic.twitter.com/ATIOhc2mnQ
— Ian Lauer (@ianlauerastro) July 11, 2022
For context of just how small a piece of the universe this image was captured within, NASA says galaxy cluster captured in this image is roughly the size of a grain of sand when held at arm’s length.
Tomorrow, Tuesday, July 12, NASA, in partnership with ESA (European Space Agency) and CSA (Canadian Space Agency), is expected to reveal the full set of images captured by the James Webb Space Telescope at 10:30am ET (14:30 UTC). The livestream, embedded above, will broadcast live from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.