This is an updated article regarding NASA’s James Webb article which was published on June 2, 2022.
After almost half a year of commissioning in space, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope will finally release its first full-colour images and spectroscopic data on July 12, 2022. Being one of the largest and most complex observatories that has ever been launched into space, the telescope has been working on a six-month preparation period, before the scientific work can really start.
According to NASA, the James Webb Space Telescope will be studying two major hot exoplanets, also known as ‘Super-Earths’. The officials have shared that tier in-depth science investigation will help them study geology on these planets that are 50 light-years away
The Space Telescope has high-precision spectrographs that will be trained according to the planets in order to learn more about their geological diversity as well as study the evolution of the rocky planets. Webb’s first full-colour images have been carefully planned by the science visuals development team at NASA. Along with the images, the telescope will also be able to capture spectroscopic data, a piece of detailed information that can help astronomers read in light.
The first batch of images will include everything that inspired the mission, like the early universe, the evolution of galaxies through time along with the life cycle of the stars. The data that was created while aligning the telescope and its preparation of the instruments will also be made available to the public.
7/12/2022 UPDATE: NASA just released their first-ever sneak-peak image from the James Webb Space Telescope which shows a colourful cluster of galaxies from far, far away.
The image was first previewed by the President of the United States of America Joe Biden, and it shows the galaxy cluster SMACS 0723 as it appeared 4.6 billion years ago. While in the image, some galaxies appear bent, NASA explained that this is due to the cluster acting as a gravitational lens that bends the light rays from far, which ends up magnifying them. This image is said to have taken about 12.5 hours to capture. Their main focus with this 10 billion dollars worth telescope is to look back 13.7 billion years ago and get a glimpse of the early Universe with zoomed-in, sharper images. “Webb can see backwards in time to just after the Big Bang by looking for galaxies that are so far away that the light has taken many billions of years to get from those galaxies to our telescope,” said Jonathan Gardner, Webb’s deputy Project scientist during the media briefing. The scientists and researchers will now soon begin studying the galaxies’ masses, history, ages, and composition which will help them bring in more information about the universe.