On July 11, the first image from the James Webb Space Telescope was released. The telescope captured an image of a galaxy, exactly as it appeared 4.6 billion years ago.
The image is the deepest and sharpest infrared image of the distant universe to date, and has now been titled as Webb’s First Deep Field.
Webb’s First Deep Field is an image of the galaxy clusters known as SMACS 0723 and has been shot by Webb’s Near Infared Camera. The telescope orbits the Sun, 1.5 kilometers away from Earth in space.
Some of the galaxies that have been captured are the oldest in the universe. Administrator of NASA, Bill Nelson said that the galaxies are over 13 billion years old.
The NIRCam was built by a team at the University of Arizona, US and Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Technology Center in the US.
👀 Sneak a peek at the deepest & sharpest infrared image of the early universe ever taken — all in a day’s work for the Webb telescope. (Literally, capturing it took less than a day!) This is Webb’s first image released as we begin to #UnfoldTheUniverse: https://t.co/tlougFWg8B pic.twitter.com/Y7ebmQwT7j— NASA Webb Telescope (@NASAWebb) July 11, 2022
HOW THE IMAGE WAS CAPTURED: The combined mass of SMACS 0723 acted as a gravitational lens and the lens was able to magnify distant galaxies behind SMACS 0723.
The NIRCam was able to bring these distant galaxies into sharp focus. The resulting image showed the galaxies have unseen tiny, faint structures including star clusters and diffuse features.
Researchers will be now be examining the newly photographed galaxies’ masses, ages, histories, and compositions.
Collaborating with the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency, NASA is expected to release a full set of Webb’s first full-color images and spectroscopic data during a televised broadcast at 10.30 am EDT (8 pm IST). The broadcast will be aired from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, US.