The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has announced that it will release the first images clicked by the James Webb Space Telescope on July 12.
Among the images from the Deep Space Observatory will be the “deepest picture of our universe ever taken.”
The agency will also share spectroscopy of a distant exoplanet with the public on the same day.
Why is this story important?
- NASA will release up to 20 images on July 12 at 10:30 a.m. EDT (8:00 p.m. IST), including an image with a higher resolution than Hubble’s Ultra Deep Field survey taken two decades ago. The latter shows about 10,000 galaxies.
- The James Webb Telescope is used to observe the earliest stars/galaxies and study the composition of planets. Our concept of the universe is being challenged.
Here’s a look at the announcement
A quick look at the James Webb Space Telescope
The $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope was built and launched last December. It orbits the sun 1.5 million kilometers from Earth.
The observatory features a huge main mirror (6.5 meters in diameter) and instruments that can see in infrared.
Our current cosmological observations go back as far as 330 million years after the Big Bang, and James Webb’s skills should easily break that record.
The space observatory could be active for 20 years
NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy said the James Webb Space Telescope could remain operational for two decades. This will double the originally estimated lifespan.
“These 20 years will not only allow us to delve deeper into history and time, but we will also delve deeper into science because of the opportunity to learn, grow and make new observations,” she added .
Spectroscopy helps identify a planet’s properties
On the other hand, on July 12, NASA will share spectroscopy of an exoplanet. However, we don’t yet know which distant planet the agency is talking about.
Spectroscopy allows scientists to analyze the chemical and molecular composition of distant objects in space.
The planetary spectrum helps identify the properties of its atmosphere and other properties, such as B. the presence of water.