First batch of James Webb Space Telescope images and data released by NASA

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NBC) – NASA unveiled the first full-color images from the most powerful telescope ever made, giving astronomers and space enthusiasts the best look at a galaxy far, far away.

Monday night, NASA and the White House unveiled the first images known as Webb’s “First Deep Field,” a kaleidoscope of galaxies as they appeared 4.6 billion years ago.

Astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson says the spiked objects are local stars. Everything else out there is a galaxy, many of them actually distorted. They look and they look like arcs.

Tuesday morning, NASA released more images, one by one, showing a full spectrum of an exoplanet, the lifecycle of stars, and how galaxies interact and grow.

The first images we’ve ever seen this far away is because the Webb telescope uses infrared eyes to pull these faint and very distant objects, like stars and galaxies, into sharp focus.

What lies beyond? The naked eye can’t even see that. So, this is now even better than what Hubble could see. The Hubble Space Telescope, you may remember, launched back in 1990.

In this case, NASA, the European Space Agency, and Canadians, all collaborated to build a $10-billion, tennis court-sized observatory—the largest, most powerful ever built and launched on a rocket back on Christmas Day— took a month to travel to its orbit, which is around the sun, a million miles from earth.

The release of these images is a huge milestone for NASA, as astronomers hope to use the special telescope really to study never before seen galaxies and star clusters and get better pictures of the modern universe, how it all came to be, and if life may be out there.

 

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