On July 11, 2022, President Joe Biden revealed an image at the White House alongside Vice President Kamala Harris and NASA officials. Dubbed “Webb’s First Deep Field,” it is the first full-color image from the $10 billion observatory that launched into space last year, and the highest-resolution infrared view of the universe yet captured.
NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, or JWST, is the agency’s incredibly powerful next-generation space telescope, designed to look into the farthest reaches of the Universe and see back in time to the stars and galaxies that formed just after the Big Bang. It cost NASA nearly $10 billion to build and more than two decades to complete.
What Does The Picture Show?
The Picture Known as Webb’s First Deep Field shows an area of sky called ‘SMACS 0723’ with massive galaxy clusters in the foreground of the image — so massive, in fact, that they actually bend space and time around them. The result is a phenomenon known as gravitational lensing, where the warped space-time acts a bit like a magnifying glass, amplifying our view of even more distant galaxies behind the clusters. There are thousands of galaxies in this picture alone, and the light from some has traveled 13 billion years to reach the telescope’s mirror, according to Nelson.
‘JUST ONE LITTLE SPECK OF THE UNIVERSE’
“Mr. President, if you held a grain of sand on the tip of your finger at arm’s length, that is the part of the Universe that you’re seeing,” Nelson said during the briefing. “Just one little speck of the Universe.”
Hubble vs JWST
The area of the Sky ‘SMACS 0723’ was also once captured by NASA’s Hubble Telescope. But the difference btw the pictures taken by Hubble and JWST is simply magnanimous.
HUBBLE vs JWST: Here’s the difference. Welcome to a new era of astronomy. pic.twitter.com/ATIOhc2mnQ— Ian Lauer (@ianlauerastro) July 11, 2022
What Does The President Said About This?
“When this image is shared with the world [it] will be a historic moment for science and technology, for astronomy and space exploration, for America and all of humanity,” Biden said during the briefing.