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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

The Best Images From the First Year of Life of the James Webb Telescope

Over time. The James Webb Space Telescope, jointly operated by NASA with the European and Canadian space agencies, completed one year in orbit. In these twelve months, the device has left us speechless with its snapshots of some of the most incredible moments and corners of the universe. James Webb, in addition to being one of the coldest objects in outer space, is humanity’s best asset for examining the universe and seeing what we can learn from what its infinite vastness tells us.

In Esquire, we report on the most important discoveries of the device, which was launched into space on December 25, 2021 aboard an Ariane 5 rocket from a space base in French Guiana. James Webb’s year 2022 was no less exciting: advanced image capture technology has helped us, with unprecedented precision and sensitivity, to bring us face to face with distant galaxies, stars in full formation or planets we’ve never seen before. Far. By observing the infrared spectrum, the instrument is able to record celestial phenomena and objects that were beyond the capabilities of Hubble and other earlier telescopes.

In case you missed any of his accomplishments, here is a selection of the best images from the first year of the James Webb Telescope. Make way: A good set of images will come to the story.

James Webb 2022: The Deepest Picture of the Universe Yet

The first stunning image from the James Webb Telescope arrived on July 12. The instrument was launched for the first time recording a region of the universe called SMACS 0723, a group of galaxies that act like a magnifying glass due to their immense gravitational pull, amplifying the light of past galaxies.

James Webb 2022: The oldest and most distant galaxies in the known universe (probably)

Another achievement of James Webb in his first year of life is finding a strong candidate for the title of oldest and most distant galaxy in the known universe. The power of the telescope in July 2022 made it possible to detect GLASS-z13, whose formation dates back to only 300 or 400 million years after the Big Bang. This scale, in universe time, is negligible. It’s not the sexiest photo taken by Webb, but it’s one of the most important.

James Webb 2022: Neptune as you’ve never seen it before

In September, the James Webb Telescope said goodbye to summer with some unusual images of Neptune. We haven’t been able to get such a clear image of the ice giant since we saw Voyager 2 fly by the planet in 1989. However, the image taken by James Webb captures the clouds much more clearly. From the frozen methane around Neptune, its dusty rings, and up to seven of Neptune’s 14 known moons: Galatia, Naiad, Thalassa, Despina, Proteus, Larissa, and Triton.

James Webb 2022: A Star Is Born

No, we are not talking about Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga: James Webb said goodbye last November with a photo of the birth of a real star. Hidden in the center of this hourglass-like image captured by the telescope is a protostar, a celestial body hidden within a dark, intensely absorbing nebula that will eventually become a star. Thanks to Webb, we were able to observe clouds of interstellar gas and dust around the forming star, visible only in the infrared spectrum, as well as an early protoplanetary disk, made of material drawn into the star’s core in a spiral spin. Definitely the best wallpaper in human history.

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