12 awe-inspiring images captured by NASA’s James Webb telescope

12 awe-inspiring images captured by NASA’s James Webb telescope
NASA's James Webb Space Telescope has given the world a new window into the universe, revealing breathtaking images of far-off planets, colliding galaxies and cosmic cliffs.

This stunning image of the Pillars of Creation is created from a combination of images captured by NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope. Situated 6,500 light-years away, an array of stars are spread across the Pillars of Creation, including newly-formed stars that can be seen as bright orange spheres. The spire-lie pillars are created by dust, a major component in star formation.

Image credits: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, image processing by Joseph DePasquale (STScI), Alyssa Pagan (STScI), Anton M. Koekemoer (STScI)

Images released in December 2022 appear to show more “hidden companions” in the Southern Ring Nebula, which is made up of a dying star and another that orbits it. After analyses, NASA now believes there could be a total of five stars in the Southern Ring Nebula.

Image credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, and O. De Marco (Macquarie University), with image processing by J. DePasquale (STScI)

This ‘fiery hourglass’ image shows the formation of a new star. Clouds of dust and gas are captured in infrared light by the Webb telescope and the dark line at the centre of the hourglass is about the size of our solar system.

Image credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI

Dubbed ‘Galactic Get-Together’ this remarkable image captured by the Webb telescope shows two galaxies in the process of merging, connected by glowing cores.

Image credit: ESA/Webb, NASA & CSA, L. Armus, A. Evan

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has captured stunning new images of Jupiter, giving scientists a greater insight into the planet’s inner life.

The images, released on 22 August 2022, were captured by a Near-Infrared Camera, which is mapped onto the visible spectrum so it can be seen by the human eye. Auroras above Jupiter’s northern and southern poles can be seen, along with the planet’s famous Great Red Spot, a giant storm that appears white due to the fact it is reflecting sunlight.

Image credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, and STScI

“We hadn’t really expected it to be this good, to be honest,” said planetary astronomer Imke de Pater, professor emerita of the University of California, Berkeley. “It’s really remarkable that we can see details on Jupiter together with its rings, tiny satellites, and even galaxies in one image,” she said.

Image credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, and STScI

The first full-colour image from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope was unveiled on 12 July by US president Joe Biden at a public event at the White House. The image reveals thousands of galaxies, including the faintest objects ever observed in the infrared.

The first deep-space image from the Webb telescope, image credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, and STScI

“These images are going to remind the world that America can do big things, and remind the American people – especially our children – that there’s nothing beyond our capacity,” Biden said.

“We can see possibilities no one has ever seen before. We can go places no one has ever gone before.”

Newer images offered more spectacular glimpses into the astral landscape. Described by NASA as the “grand finale of the James Webb Space Telescopes’ first images”, this image shows “Cosmic Cliffs”, previously hidden baby stars revealed for the first time.

Cosmic Cliffs, image credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, and STScI

Another image shows Stephan’s Quintet, made up of five galaxies, four of which interact. “These colliding galaxies are pulling and stretching each other in a gravitational dance,” says NASA.

Stephan’s Quintet, image credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, and STScI

A final image reveals the Southern Ring Nebula, which is approximately 2,500 light-years away. “The dimmer star at the center of this scene has been sending out rings of gas and dust for thousands of years in all directions, and NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has revealed for the first time that this star is cloaked in dust.”

The Southern Ring Nebula, image credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, and STScI

NASA says this first image showcases the powerful capabilities of the Webb mission, a partnership with ESA (European Space Agency) and CSA (Canadian Space Agency).

“Webb’s First Deep Field is not only the first full-colour image from the James Webb Space Telescope, it’s the deepest and sharpest infrared image of the distant universe, so far,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson.

“This mission was made possible by human ingenuity – the incredible NASA Webb team and our international partners at the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency.

“Webb is just the start of what we can accomplish in the future when we work together for the benefit of humanity.”


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