In the final phase of commissioning, with just under two months to go until it begins effective operation, the observatory has captured an unprecedented image of the Large Magellanic Cloud, a dwarf satellite galaxy in the Milky Way. , located 163,000 light years from Earth.
When the disc was released, Webb’s work was compared to the now-defunct Spitzer Space Telescope – a pioneer at the time in generating high-resolution images of the universe.
A comparison of recordings of the Large Magellanic Cloud made by the Spitzer Space Telescope and the James Webb Space Telescope. Images: NASA/JPL-Caltech (left) and NASA/ESA/CSA/STScI (right)
It should be remembered that Webb, even before the official observations, made the first recording of a moving target that captured the image of the asteroid 6841 Tenzing, moving in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
And the scientific observations of the James Webb telescope begin
In the many years since the project was introduced to the world, expectations surrounding the science that the James Webb Telescope could deliver have only grown, all the more so given the constant delays in completing its construction and its launch.
It is therefore not surprising to see how the publication of the first images was applauded and had such an impact in the media around the world. ISLAND Digital appearance did the live broadcast of NASA’s webcast, and each revealed recording created more admiration among the presenters, the guest astronomer and the public who followed everything via our YouTube channel (you can watch or review the video here).
On this long-awaited Tuesday morning, four images were shown: a spectrograph of WASP-96 b, an exoplanet located 1,150 light years from Earth; NGC 3132, a planetary nebula located in the rising constellation Vela; Stephan’s Quintet, a cluster of five galaxies in the constellation Pegasus, about 290 million light-years away; and an impressive shot of the Eta Carinae Nebula, also known as the “Carina Nebula”.
Filled with young and forming stars, the Carina Nebula is permeated with ultraviolet radiation and stellar winds that form this vast wall of cosmic dust and gas. Image: NASA/Disclosure
Apart from these, the image of galaxy cluster SMACS 0723, which NASA had released the previous day, featuring US President Joe Biden, was also shown again.
A month of hard work and fantastic results
In the 30 days since the grand opening, we continue to be amazed by each new sighting of Webb. The spiral galaxy M74, located 32 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Pisces, was one of the most beautiful cosmic structures revealed by the telescope.
It is a favorite target for astronomy enthusiasts because of its orientation: the galaxy is right “in front” of the Milky Way, as if it were looking “eye to eye” at us.