NASA Releases First James Webb Telescope Images

13 billion years ago. That’s how far into the ancient history of the galaxies NASA’s new James Webb telescope can reach back to

NASA has released an image of far-flung galaxies as they were an astounding 13 billion years ago,  making it the first glimpse of this ancient past. 

This tiny slice of the universe was captured in sharp detail by the most powerful telescope ever launched into space. The new telescope promises to reshape the way we understand the beginning of the universe. 

The small part captured is called the SMACS 0723. The image shows the light from many different twinkling galaxies, among the oldest in the universe. 

President Joe Biden unveiled the image at the White House. He called it “a historic moment for science and technology, for America and all of humanity,” saying it was “hard to even fathom” 

The telescope provides “a new window into the history of our universe,” Biden said. 

Bill Nelson, the administrator of NASA, said the image shows the light of galaxies bending around other galaxies, traveling for billions of years before reaching the telescope. 

“We are looking back more than 13 billion years,” Nelson said. 

More images are to be released by NASA that will reach back even further, to about 13.5 billion years ago. This is close to the estimated beginning of the universe itself. 

“We are going back almost to the beginning,” Nelson said. 

It took three decades to make the James Webb telescope and was done so as a joint endeavor between NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Canadian Space Agency. It has the power to revolutionize human understanding of the universe and of the cosmos by providing detailed infrared images of the universe. 

The telescope is able to glimpse inside the atmospheres of exoplanets and observe some of the oldest galaxies in the universe by using a system of lenses, filters, and prisms to detect signals in the infrared spectrum. 

The original goal of the telescope is to see the first stars and galaxies that were formed after the Big Bang. 

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