July 12: the first pictures of Webb

that James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is the largest space telescope with its 6.5 m diameter mirror. This program is initiated by NASA and has European Space Agency (ESA) and Canadian Space Agency (CSA) as partners. The latter two provide instruments, but ESA also took care of the launch of the observatory with Ariane 5 on 25 December 2021.
After several months of commissioning and verification of its instruments, the Web is in working order. This July 12, photos will demonstrate its properties announced as unprecedented.

The first pictures of Webb live

The date of Tuesday, July 12 was chosen by Webb’s partner agencies to reveal to the public the first images and scientific data of (we quote NASA) “most powerful space telescope ever built“.
The event will be streamed live and in English on NASA’s YouTube channel in the window below.

This video window switches to retransmission and subsequently becomes a replay.
that direct must start on Tuesday, July 12 at 4.30pm French city time. The sites dedicated to the telescope by the partner agencies as well as the site of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) will be updated to display the images (list below):
NASA website
ESA’s website
CSA website
STScI website

This event will be featured in the exhibitions at the Cité de l’espace In Toulouse. For the occasion, brokers from the Cité de l’espace will comment and explain the posted photos live to visitors. They will also return to the journey, architecture, and instruments of the James Webb Space Telescope and to the place that France occupied in the observation missions of the universe. This 12th of July will also be the occasion for the Center for Scientific Culture to open to the public a new space dedicated to Webb and its predecessor Hubble.

Why do we say “first pictures”?

One can ask the question because previous images acquired by Webb were released, but they are of a technical nature and are used to check the good health of the telescope. More detailed thus the procedure for adjusting the 18 hexagons of 1.3 m, which form the primary mirror of 6.5 m of JWST. In late March, one of his technical images displayed galaxies in the background, confirming that the telescope offered the expected performance, or even a little more.
Recently, on July 7th, a snapshot taken in mid-May with the Canadian instrument FGS (Fine Guidance Sensor) goes even further with galaxies galore! Look downstairs.

This image was taken to test the ability of the Canadian instrument FGS to point to a star and track it by gently moving the telescope. In addition to a few stars (easy to spot, they have 6 branches due to the hexagonal mirrors), one can only notice an extraordinary abundance of galaxies.
Credit: NASA, CSA and FGS teams

This image collects 72 images acquired over 32 hours. It is considered by researchers working on Webb as one of the deepest images of the universe ever taken». The prolonged pause associated with infrared performance makes it possible to see extremely distant galaxies.
As impressive as this image is, it is again a technical shot. And it is for this reason that we are speaking for the 12th of July about “first images” in the sense that they will be first by using the scientific possibilities of Web’s instruments. It should be noted that the press releases from NASA, ESA and CSA announce the first images in the majority. We can therefore expect more than one shot … It is also stated “full color”, which means that the Webb teams could take advantage of the different wavelengths of infrared to present color images instead of the orange monochrome one has seen so far. To conclude, let us keep in mind that these images, which will most likely be spectacular, will only scratch the surface of what Webb could bring to astronomy in the years to come. In fact, the scientific community expects a revolution in our knowledge of the universe in line with that made possible by Hubble.

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