This is the first operational image taken by the James Webb Space Telescope, depicting SMACS 0723, a galaxy cluster located 4.6 billion light-years from Earth in the constellation of Volans.
Designed for infrared astronomy. It was launched in December 2021 and has been in a halo orbit around the second Sun – Earth Lagrange point since January 2022.
In the image, we see the galaxy cluster SMACS 0723 as it appeared 4.6 billion years ago. Many of the cosmological entities ave undergone a notable redshift.
The six bright spikes surrounding bright light sources are a result of diffraction from the mirror’s edges. The mirror’s inner and outer rims are an exact hexagon and a rough hexagon, respectively.
The spikes created by the struts holding the secondary mirror are much less pronounced than the spikes created by the rim.
The JWST’s first full false color image of the universe was revealed to the public on 11 July 2022 by U.S. president Joe Biden.
Deepest infrared image yet from NASA’s Webb
Infrared images captured by NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope are the deepest and sharpest yet. This image is approximately the size of a grain of sand held at arm’s length, a tiny sliver of the vast universe.
Webb’s NIRCam has brought distant galaxies into sharp focus, and its Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) has captured the colors and diffraction spikes of stars as they appear brighter at shorter wavelengths. As a result, researchers will soon begin to learn more about the galaxies’ masses, ages, histories, and compositions.
Webb’s instruments captured images and spectra of 48 galaxies in a field of view of 13.1 billion light years, revealing details about each galaxy. The data also demonstrated how detailed galaxy spectra will be with Webb’s observations.
NASA is also leading the James Webb Space Telescope with its partners, ESA and CSA. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center manages the mission for the agency’s Science Mission Directorate.
Galaxy Cluster SMACS 0723
The galaxy cluster SMACS 0723 is one of the first targets to be imaged by NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope. It lies in the southern constellation Volans and acts as a gravitational lens, bending the light of distant galaxies.
The JWST image of SMACS 0723 shows thousands of distant galaxies in unprecedented detail, including the faintest objects ever seen in the infrared.
How far away is SMACS 0723?
An image taken from the Southern Hemisphere, which covers only a tiny area of sky, shows SMACS 0723, a galaxy cluster in the constellation of Volans located at a distance of 4.6 billion light-years from Earth.
How old are the images from the James Webb telescope?
In this photo, you can see the very faintest, tiniest blips of light that represent galaxies as they existed over 13 billion years ago, near the beginning of time. This light has been traveling through space ever since then.
Since the universe has expanded much more than 13.7 billion years ago, the JWST should be able to see between 100 and 250 million years after the big bang.