NASA has released a compelling teaser photo before the highly-anticipated release next week of the first deep-space images through the James Webb Telescope. It is an instrument that is so powerful that it can gaze back into the universe’s origins.
The $10 billion observatories were launched in December the previous year, and presently, it’s orbiting the Sun a million miles away from Earth. It can gaze at places no telescope has seen before because of its enormous primary mirror and instruments that focus on infrared, enabling it to peer through dust and gas.
The first completely formed pictures are about to be released on July 12th, but NASA released an engineering test photo on Wednesday. It was the result of 72 exposures over 32 hours that exhibited a set of distant stars and galaxies.
The image consists of some “rough-around-the-edges” qualities, NASA said in a statement. However, it is still “among the deepest images of the universe ever taken” and offers a “tantalizing glimpse” at what will be revealed in the upcoming weeks, months, and years.
“When this image was taken, I was thrilled to clearly see all the detailed structure in these faint galaxies,” announced Neil Rowlands, program scientist for Webb’s Fine Guidance Sensor at Honeywell Aerospace.
“It’s going to explore objects in the solar system and atmospheres of exoplanets orbiting other stars, giving us clues as to whether potentially their atmospheres are similar to our own,” he said.
“It may answer some questions that we have: Where do we come from? What more is out there? Who are we? And of course, it’s going to answer some questions that we don’t even know what the questions are.”