NASA’s James Webb Telescope will reveal ‘deepest’ image of our universe and the earliest galaxies

NASA's James Webb Telescope is set to unravel the mysteries of the universe when it releases its first images in a few weeks.  Above: Timeline shows the metric expansion of space, including the first stars, the development of galaxies and planets -- and dark energy


NASA’s James Webb Telescope will soon reveal ‘the deepest image of our universe that’s ever been taken.’

The space agency made the announcement ahead of the release next month of the first pictures from the $10 billion telescope that’s currently sitting 1.2 million kilometers directly ‘behind’ Earth as seen from the sun.

‘This is farther than humanity has ever looked before, and we’re only beginning to understand what Webb can and will do,’ NASA administrator Bill Nelson said at a live media event on Wednesday.

The telescope, which has taken 20 years to build, will be looking back to the period of time just after the Big Bang in order to unravel some of the mysteries of how we got here.

‘We’re in the middle of getting history-making data,’ Nelson added.

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NASA’s James Webb Telescope is set to unravel the mysteries of the universe when it releases its first images in a few weeks. Above: Timeline shows the metric expansion of space, including the first stars, the development of galaxies and planets — and dark energy

These initial images are based on just 120 hours of observation over the course of five days.

It may seem odd to think of a telescope as a time machine, but that’s basically how it can function.

In space, distance is measured by how long it takes light to travel.

According to NASA, our nearest star is over four light-years away, so that when we look at that nearest star, we see it not as it is today, but as it was four years ago.

'One of the goals is to find the first galaxies that formed in universe just after the Big Bang,' explained Jonathan Gardner, Webb deputy senior project scientist at NASA Goddard.  Above: Pictured graphic shows a front view of NASA's James Webb Space Telescope, including its Optical Telescope Element Primary Mirror, OTE Secondary Mirror, Sunshield and more

‘One of the goals is to find the first galaxies that formed in universe just after the Big Bang,’ explained Jonathan Gardner, Webb deputy senior project scientist at NASA Goddard. Above: Pictured graphic shows a front view of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, including its Optical Telescope Element Primary Mirror, OTE Secondary Mirror, Sunshield and more

Other galaxies are much farther away.

The Virgo Cluster of galaxies is the largest nearby collection of galaxies, at about 60 million light-years from the Milky Way.

That means the light we see today from galaxies in the Virgo Cluster started on its path toward us at the same time as the age of the dinosaurs was ending on Earth.

‘There’s already some amazing science in the can and some others are yet to be taken as we go forward,’ Nelson said.

Although NASA scientists didn’t say exactly what we’ll be seeing when the images are released to the public, they did drop some hints.

‘One of the goals is to find the first galaxies that formed in universe just after the Big Bang,’ explained Jonathan Gardner, Webb deputy senior project scientist at NASA Goddard.

NASA also said the images will include the first ever spectrum of an exoplanet.  Pictured is the back view of NASA's James Webb Telescope, showing its solar panel, momentum flap and spacecraft bus

NASA also said the images will include the first ever spectrum of an exoplanet. Pictured is the back view of NASA’s James Webb Telescope, showing its solar panel, momentum flap and spacecraft bus

In the six months since the telescope launched on Dec. 25, 2021, researchers and scientists have been making sure its massive mirrors are properly deployed and that all the scientific instruments are aligned and working.  Graphic above shows the various sizes of well known space telescopes

In the six months since the telescope launched on Dec. 25, 2021, researchers and scientists have been making sure its massive mirrors are properly deployed and that all the scientific instruments are aligned and working. Graphic above shows the various sizes of well known space telescopes

NASA also said the images will include the first ever spectrum of an exoplanet.

These spectra measure the amount of light that’s emitted at certain wavelengths and can provide insights into what a planet is made of and its formation in the universe’s history.

The space agency’s scientists emphasized that James Webb will produce loads more data and pictures in the coming months and years.

In the six months since the telescope launched on Dec. 25, 2021, researchers and scientists have been making sure its massive mirrors are properly deployed and that all the scientific instruments are aligned and working.

‘It’s larger than Hubble so it can see fainter light. Those first small, faint galaxies merged together again and again over time to become the larger ones we know now, including our own Milky Way,’ Gardner added.

These initial images are based on just 120 hours of observation over the course of five days.  This NASA photo released on May 16, 2017 shows the primary mirror of NASAs James Webb Space Telescope inside a clean room at NASAs Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas

These initial images are based on just 120 hours of observation over the course of five days. This NASA photo released on May 16, 2017 shows the primary mirror of NASAs James Webb Space Telescope inside a clean room at NASAs Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas

'We'll also see an example of how galaxies interact and grow,' said Klaus Pontoppidan, Webb project scientist, Space Telescope Science Institute.  NASA's James Webb Space Telescope The primary mirror is composed of 18 hexagonal segments made of the metal beryllium and coated with gold to capture faint infrared light

‘We’ll also see an example of how galaxies interact and grow,’ said Klaus Pontoppidan, Webb project scientist, Space Telescope Science Institute. NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope The primary mirror is composed of 18 hexagonal segments made of the metal beryllium and coated with gold to capture faint infrared light

‘We’ll also see an example of how galaxies interact and grow,’ said Klaus Pontoppidan, Webb project scientist, Space Telescope Science Institute.

‘But we’re only scratching the surface.’

‘In the beginning we have only a few days worth of observations. Looking forward to years of observations.’

NASA will officially release the first images from the James Webb Telescope on July 12 at 10:30 am EDT and that event will be covered by Daily Mail.

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