Welcome to the next chapter of astronomy. The James Webb Space Telescope has captured its first image, and it revealed that its instruments would enjoy perfect vision into yet-unseen depths of the ancient universe.
NASA released the first image captured by the JWST which was a test shot and not part of a scientific study to witness the space telescope 18 hexagonal, yellow mirrors synced into collaboration. Still, the test reveals what this powerful piece of technology can do when pointed at a star roughly 1 million miles away from Earth, according to the space agency’s official website.
The telescope captured the image in February 2022, but the consequences will continue to make waves for decades and perhaps centuries. Scientists were ecstatic when they finally got a glimpse of Webb’s test photos that captured the light of a star 100 times fainter than our human eyes can see 2,000 light-years away from our planet.
The James Webb Space Telescope’s mirrors, combined with filters that tinted the distant star’s light into a red, spiky figure, created the image. But the highlight of the image wasn’t the foreground. As the flagship successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, the James Webb Space Telescope will give astronomy wave after wave of discovery. Hopes are high that it will not only reveal the chemical content of many alien worlds suspected to have the makings for life but also show the conditions of the very early universe in ways we’ve only imagined.