James Webb Telescope to release first images
July 11, 2022 - After six months of travel, testing and calibration of instruments, the first images taken by NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope – the largest space telescope ever built – are to be revealed.
The release of the first full-colour images and spectroscopic data will mark the beginning of the next era in astronomy as Webb will help answer questions about the earliest moments of the universe and allow astronomers to study exoplanets in greater detail than ever before.
James Webb was launched in December to succeed the revolutionary – but now ageing – Hubble Space Telescope.
While Hubble looks mostly in the visual and ultraviolet parts of the electromagnetic spectrum, Webb will look at longer wavelengths in the infrared, to see what the universe looked like around 100 to 250 million years after the Big Bang, when the first stars and galaxies were formed.
Early alignment imagery already demonstrated the unprecedented sharpness of Webb’s infrared view. However, these new images will be the first in full colour and the first to showcase Webb’s full science capabilities.
One unspecified image from the collection will be unveiled on July 11, in the evening by U.S. President Joe Biden at a White House briefing with NASA chief Bill Nelson, the space agency.
The rest will be released as previously scheduled in a live broadcast and webcast on Jul 12 from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, by NASA and its European and Canadian space agency collaborators.