Long before Webb same launched from French Guyana, we were waiting for this moment: the first color images of this state-of-the-art space telescope. Nasa announcement yesterday than those pictures will be available on July 12, as well as some spectroscopic data.
“The release of the first color images of Webb will provide a once-in-a-lifetime moment for all to stop and marvel at a sight humanity has never seen before,” said Eric Smith, Webb program scientist at headquarters. of NASA in Washington, in a NASA Release.
Webb launched on December 25 and arrived at his vantage point in space – a place called L2, a millions of miles from Earth—a months later. Since then, NASA scientists (as well as scientists from the European and Canadian space agencies, partners in the telescope mission) worked hard to prepare the machine to do science.
That of the telescope the main scientific objectives are to study the birth of stars and the rise of planetary systems, to learn more about youthe evolution of galaxies and local objects such as exoplanets, and to study the first sources of light in the universe, the very first stars and galaxies.
“Our goals for the first images and data from Webb are both to showcase the telescope’s powerful instruments and to preview the science mission ahead,” said astronomer Klaus Pontoppidan, Webb project scientist at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, in the same statement. “They are sure to deliver a long-awaited ‘wow’ for astronomers and the public alike.”
NASA has been tight-lipped about what Webb’s first color images will showalthough we had a hint last month, when the agency posted remarkable snaps of the Large Magellanic Cloud taken by Webb’s MIRI instrument and held a briefing on what is to come. Starting from press conference, we know that the images (called “advance broadcast observations”) will be Webb’s scientific targets. But the exact subjects will remain a “surprise” until the images are released in July, Pontoppidan said last month.
The first images are only a month away, but many will follow thereafter. Only intended to last five years, the Webb mission can last up to 20 years, thanks to the fuel saved during a ultra-precise launch.
More: NASA releases ridiculously sharp images from the Webb Space Telescope