December 5, 2022

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The first historical image of the James Webb Telescope – Corriere.it

From Giovanni Caprara

Biden showed, at NASA Live, the first image taken by the James Webb Space Telescope: Here’s why a trip to the limits of time and space

The first image was chosen to show the extraordinary abilities of the new James Webb Space Telescope The distant group of galaxies known by the initials SMACS 0723. Proudly US President Joe Biden Present it to guests at the White House with an unexpected change of plans. Officially, NASA had planned to release the first images on July 12, but the president, to emphasize the extraordinary result, preferred to expect a personal intervention by selecting the galactic group. Not by chance. The preference is connected with the fact that it allows you to show the uniqueness of the gadget. SMACS 0723, located 5 billion light-years away, is a group of galaxies that acts like a lens thanks to the gravitational force expressed by their masses, causing other stars to see further away. Both the mass and the world hidden behind it are now visible in previously impossible detail, revealing precisely the power of the new telescope that looks farther into the sky in the infrared.

Mission and goals

Astronomers from NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency have chosen with the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore where scientists govern research using large space telescopes. Five preferential goals. This was the Carina Nebula, an arboretum 7,600 light-years from Earth where new stars are constantly forming, and the giant planet WASP-96b discovered in 2014 1,150 light-years from Earth, the southernmost ring-like planetary nebula around it. A dead star, Stefan’s constellation of pentagonal galaxies in the constellation Pegasus characterized by strange motions, and eventually there was SMACS 0723, the farthest cluster of galaxies that eventually turned out to be the favourite.

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costs and technology

The massive $10 billion space project that came to fruition after years of delays and high costs has proven its worth. Webb was launched on Christmas Day and has traveled for several months to reach its starting point from Earth at a distance of one and a half million kilometers Where he will be able to survey the universe without disturbing our planet. Hence we look farther a hundred times greater than the Hubble Space Telescope behind it. After more than two months of preparation, he finally collected the first images, overcoming without damage even the excitement of some meteorite impacts. Looking at unobstructed depths, it will look beyond galaxies and focus on planets around other stars, possibly picking up clues about life. Tomorrow NASA will show the other images as planned.

Jul 12 2022 (change on Jul 12, 2022 | 00:31)