On Monday, U.S. President Joe Biden publicly unveiled the first official image from NASA‘s James Webb Space Telescope which launched in December last year. Crowned as the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope and the most powerful space telescope ever, Webb’s snapshot is said to be the “deepest and sharpest infrared image of the distant universe to date.”
Appearing in the new image is the galaxy cluster SMACS 0723 as it looked 4.6 billion years ago. The image is both a trip through distant space and a glimpse into a period that predates our planet. The thousands of galaxies in frame, which harbor a countless number of star clusters and planets, are just a small speck in our perceivable universe, covering a patch of sky “approximately the size of a grain of sand held at arm’s length by someone on the ground,” according to NASA. As the James Webb telescope continues to operate, researchers will soon begin to discover more about the earliest galaxies in our universe as they were more than 13.5 billion years ago and probe for faraway planets that may be habitable.
Stay tuned for the full series of Webb’s first full-color images, nicknamed Spectra, to release on July 12 during a NASA TV broadcast.
In other news, Meta develops new AI to fact-check Wikipedia articles.
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