The first and historical images of the James Webb

Yesterday we were able to advance the first of the images captured by the James Webb and, as planned, the rest of the images have been made public today. And if yesterday’s image, which showed us the massive cluster SMACS 0723 already left us with our mouths open, the images that we have been able to see today directly have taken us to some of the places reproduced in them, partly trying to interpret them, and partly enjoying unpublished views so far.

Let’s see, then, what James Webb has shown us, and the reason why both the time and the money invested in the project have been worth it, not only for these images, of course, but because we can imagine that it is to come

SMACS 0723: the first image of the James Webb

SMACS 0723

As we told you yesterday, this image shows the galaxy cluster SMACS 0723 as it looked 4.6 billion years ago, with the peculiarity that it also allows us to observe the surprising gravitational lensing effect caused by the combined mass of the galaxies closest to the socket. To think that a large number of the “dots” shown in this image are galaxies (of various sizes) is a clear reminder of the vastness of the Universe.

The first and historical images of the James Webb


WASP-96b is a hot, bloated gas giant planet orbiting a distant Sun-like star, and observations of it have revealed signs of water, along with evidence of clouds and haze. Thus, we see that the James Webb will not only allow more distant objects to be observed, but also to capture with a much higher resolution, which in turn will allow more complex analyzes of the observed objects.

The first and historical images of the James Webb

Southern Ring Nebula (NGC 3132)

Located about 2,500 light-years away, this dust-covered star, having been emitting rings of gas and dust in all directions for thousands of years, is now in its dying phase. Being able to study it at this point will offer scientists the possibility of even better understanding the life cycle of stars and what happens to them once they are extinct.

The first and historical images of the James Webb

Stephan’s Quintet

Galaxies are not isolated elements of the Universe. Quite the contrary, they interact with each other, being able to merge (as will happen with the Milky Way and Andromeda in 5,860 million years). With this image, which in its original version has more than 150 million pixels and is built with almost 1,000 individual image files taken by the James Webb, scientists will be able to analyze these interactions in much greater detail, and how they they may have driven the evolution of galaxies in the early universe.

The first and historical images of the James Webb

Carina Nebula

It almost seems that we are observing a landscape made up of mountains and valleys, but in reality what we see is a nearby and young region of the Universe in which stars are forming, a type of region that was already known but that until now had not been able to be observed. the tallest “peaks” in this image are about 58 light-years tall. The cavernous zone has been carved into the nebula by intense ultraviolet radiation and stellar winds from extremely large and hot young stars.

Images and information: NASA

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