The first images from James Webb will be released in July

NASA has announced the date when the first full-color images of the new James Webb Space Telescope will be released. Together with ESA (European Space Agency), the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), NASA will release the images and spectroscopic data on July 12, 2022.

James Webb has been undergoing alignment and calibration since its launch in December 2021 – a complex series of processes that involve making minute adjustments to the 18 segments of the telescope’s primary mirror and checking the sensitivity of each of its four instruments. So far, a number of calibration images have been released that have been used to prepare the instruments for scientific operations. But the July date is when the first color images, which are expected to be much more impressive and attractive, will be released.

“As we near the end of preparing the observatory for science, we are on the cusp of an incredibly exciting period of discovery about our universe. The release of Webb’s first full-color images will be a unique moment for all of us. offer to stop and marvel at a view humanity has never seen before,” Eric Smith, program scientist at Webb, said in a statement from NASA. “These images will be the culmination of decades of dedication, talent and dreams – but they will also be just the beginning.”

The objects that Webb will investigate have already been chosen by an international committee in a long selection process. Projects to be explored in Webb’s first year include studying Jupiter and its rings and moons, studying star formation, and looking at the earliest galaxies to get clues about the Universe when it was very young. used to be.

NASA hasn’t announced exactly which objects will be shown in the initial images, but the agency has said it will release a “package of materials” that covers key themes Webb will explore, including “the early universe, evolution of galaxies”. through time, the life cycle of stars and other worlds.” In addition to images, there will also be spectroscopic data that uses light to identify the chemical makeup of objects.

Even with all the preparation needed to launch a telescope, it’s difficult for researchers to know exactly how accurate the instruments will be until they start using them, explains Joseph DePasquale of STScI: “Of course there are things we expect and hope to see, but with a new telescope and this new high-resolution infrared data, we won’t know until we see it.”

Leave a Comment