NASA released never-seen-before images taken by the James Webb Space Telescope today, heralding a new era of astronomy as the images take us back to early universe, almost 13 billion years ago.
“Every image is a new discovery,” said NASA administrator Bill Nelson. “Each will give humanity a view of the universe that we’ve never seen before,” he added.
This image below from Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) on the James Webb Space Telescope shows never-before-seen details of Stephan’s Quintet, a visual grouping of five galaxies.
“MIRI pierced through dust-enshrouded regions to reveal huge shock waves and tidal tails, gas and stars stripped from the outer regions of the galaxies by interactions,” NASA said.
The next image is captured by the Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam) and Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) showing a landscape of “mountains” and “valleys” speckled with glittering stars.
Another image shows a landscape of “mountains” and “valleys” with glittering stars which is the edge of a nearby, young, star-forming region called NGC 3324 in the Carina Nebula.
James Webb’s two cameras captured the image of planetary nebula, NGC 3132, known informally as the Southern Ring Nebula. The nebula is approximately 2,500 light-years away.
Another comparison image shows the invisible near- and mid-infrared wavelengths of light that have been translated into visible-light colors. This is one of the first images taken by the James Webb Space Telescope, NASA said.
Launched in December 2021 from French Guiana on an Ariane 5 rocket, Webb is orbiting the Sun at a distance of a million miles (1.6 million kilometers) from Earth, in a region of space called the second Lagrange point.