These stunning images, captured by NASA’s James Webb telescope, are a treat for space enthusiasts

These stunning images, captured by NASA’s James Webb telescope, are a treat for space enthusiasts

These stunning images, captured by NASA’s James Webb telescope, are a treat for space enthusiasts

These stunning images, captured by NASA’s James Webb telescope, are a treat for space enthusiasts

Webb captured this detailed image of the Cartwheel and two smaller companion galaxies in August 2022

Described as the world’s most powerful telescope, NASA’s James Web Telescope captured some stunning images of our universe this year, leaving space enthusiasts spellbound. The next-generation observatory, priced at $10 billion, launched on December 25, 2021 atop the Ariane 5 rocket from the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana. Named after a former NASA director, Webb follows in the footsteps of the legendary Hubble, but offers a glimpse of the universe previously inaccessible to us. Webb is about 100 times more powerful than Hubble.

On its first anniversary, here are 5 incredible images captured by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) in 2022 that have revolutionized space imagery.

Deepest infrared image of the early universe

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In his first image, taken in July 2022, Webb revealed the “deepest and sharpest infrared image of the early universe” ever taken, going back 13 billion years. Unveiled at a White House briefing by President Joe Biden, the stunning image showed thousands of galaxies flooding and featured the faintest objects ever observed, colorized from infrared to shades of blue, orange and white. The image showed the cluster of galaxies SMACS 0723 as it appeared 4.6 billion years ago, with many more galaxies in front and behind the cluster.

Carina Nebula

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That same month, the telescope revealed emerging stellar nurseries and individual stars in the Carina Nebula previously hidden from view. Webb’s apparently three-dimensional image, called the Cosmic Cliffs, looks like craggy mountains on a moonlit night. It’s actually the rim of the giant gaseous cavity in NGC 3324, and the highest “peaks” in this image are about 7 light-years high.

Neptune’s rings

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In September 2022, the telescope captured the clearest image of Neptune’s rings in more than 30 years. In 1989, NASA’s Voyager 2 became the first spacecraft to capture the image of Neptune. According to NASA, Webb not only captured the clearest image of this distant planet’s rings since the Voyager 2 spacecraft flew past it in 1989, but his cameras also revealed the icy giant in a whole new light. The Webb also captured seven of Neptune’s 14 known moons.

The cartwheel system

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In August 2022, Webb’s powerful infrared gaze produced this detailed image of the Cartwheel and two smaller companion galaxies against a background of many other galaxies. The image offered a new perspective on the galaxy’s evolution over billions of years, according to a NASA release. The Cartwheel Galaxy, about 500 million light-years away in the constellation Sculptor, is a rare sight. Its appearance, like that of a chariot wheel, is the result of an intense event – a high-speed collision between a large spiral galaxy and a smaller galaxy not visible in this image.

The Pillars of Creation

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In October 2022, a lush and highly detailed landscape – the iconic ‘Pillars of Creation” was captured by the James Webb telescope. The twinkling of thousands of stars illuminates the telescope’s first image of the giant gold, copper, and brown columns looming at the center of the cosmos. .

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