“Coming Soon: First Images From NASA’s Webb Space Telescope”

NASA has announced that it will release the James Webb Space Telescope’s first full-color images and additional spectroscopic data on July 12, 2022. Amateur astronomers and professionals alike are eagerly awaiting the release, as this cutting-edge $10 billion telescope — the largest space telescope in history — is now the world’s premier space science observatory.

It has been a long road for the James Webb Space Telescope. Some consider a start date of 1989 when a Next Generation Space Telescope Workshop began looking into a follow-up to the Hubble Space Telescope. Things kicked into a higher gear in 1996, with a space telescope design proposal from an 18-member committee led by astronomer Alan Dressler. Construction started in 2004.

It was originally expected to launch in 2007, but a series of delays pushed things back until December 25, 2021, when it successfully launched on an Ariane 5 rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana. A few days later it began sunshield deployment, which was completed successfully on January 4, 2022. The next day it deployed its secondary mirror, and then on January 8, when its 21-foot, gold-coated primary mirror was fully deployed, Webb had completed all major spacecraft deployments.

After that, it began the long process of mirror alignmentpowered on its instruments, kicked off multi-instrument alignment, and moved on to commissioning the observatory’s four powerful science instruments. Capping off these 6 months of deploying, commissioning, and testing, NASA will release the first full-color Webb images on July 12.

These first images from the James Webb Space Telescope will mark the beginning of Webb’s science operations, in which excited astronomers will have the opportunity to use Webb to explore the early universe, exoplanet atmospheres, star birth and death, and the evolution of galaxies like never before.

Coming Soon: First Images From NASA’s Webb Space Telescope (scitechdaily.com)

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4 Responses to “Coming Soon: First Images From NASA’s Webb Space Telescope”

  1. d74 says:

    Very pleased that everything is going well. This is a perfect example of a close alliance between Science and Industry, men and women, each as talented as the other.

    Will the telescope shed light on the “dark matter” issue? After all, it makes up between 50% and 90% of the heavy matter in the universe and we can’t find it (90% at least if it is the only one involved, 25% to 75% with a dark energy component).

    Yes, our knowledge, so developed in chemistry and physics for example, only scratches the surface. Bulk escapes us.

  2. Barbara Ann says:

    The JWST is an exquisite piece of technology and the pinnacle of human ingenuity & endeavor. At the same time this object is a perfect metaphor for what Yeats called the Fourth Age of Man. We will shortly see in finer detail than ever before the face of God. At the same time interest in knowing and living His mind are at their lowest ebb. We live in a glorious information age, but are we enlightened?

    I look forward to seeing the first images, I’m sure they will be extraordinary.

  3. Babeltuap says:

    Looking forward to it but man, this thing took forever. Development started in 1996 and was suppose to be done in 2007. If things don’t start simmering down this might just be the pinnacle of mankind.

  4. Leith says:

    Infrared camera isn’t it? How soon before they start getting data back on whether there is methane in the atmosphere of that planet in Alpha Centauri? Or any other candidates?

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