James Webb: the long-awaited shots are finally out!

James Webb: the long-awaited shots are finally out!

The American Space Agency unveils this July 12 new photographs taken by the James Webb telescope.

James Webb’s first official shot is breathtaking. Unveiled on the evening of July 11, 2022, it shows a cluster of galaxies named SMACS 0723 and the effects of gravitational lensing. It also shows the incredible technical progress of the observation instruments: compared to the photo taken by Hubble, the level of finesse is incomparable.

But this July 12, 2022, other photographs are presented. In addition to SMACS 0723, four other targets in space have been chosen to demonstrate the first observation capabilities of the new James Webb Observatory, which is more than 1.5 million kilometers from Earth, so as to have a view impregnable on the depths of the Universe.

Photos taken by James Webb

The Carina Nebula is one of the largest and brightest nebulae in the sky. It is located about 7,600 light-years away in the southern constellation of Carina. Nebulae are star nurseries. Many massive stars several times larger than the Sun are found in the Carina Nebula.

Carina Nebula
Carina Nebula. // Source: NASA

Exoplanet WASP-96b is a gas giant located almost 1,150 light years away. It goes around its star in 3.4 days. Its mass is about half that of Jupiter. Its discovery was announced in 2014. It is not a real photo, but an analysis of the atmosphere of this giant and hot exoplanet. We were thus able to determine that it has water, clouds and mist.

WASP-96b. // Source: NASA

The Southern Ring Nebula is a planetary nebula, an expanding cloud of gas around a dying star. Its diameter is almost half a light year. It lies about 2,000 light-years from Earth and, thanks to infrared visualization, it is possible to unveil details that have until now been out of sight of astronomers.

To the left of the image is a visual taken by NIRCam. On the right, a photo generated by MIRI.

Southern Ring Nebula HD
Southern Ring Nebula. // Source: NASA

Located approximately 290 million light-years from Earth, Stephan’s Quintet is in the constellation Pegasus. It is the first compact group of galaxies discovered. Four of these five galaxies do a “cosmic dance”, where they move back and forth close to each other repeatedly.

Stephan Quintet
Stephan’s Quintet. // Source: NASA

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