(ORDO NEWS) — NASA has released a teaser teaser photo ahead of the long-awaited release next week of the first images of deep space taken by the James Webb Telescope – a tool so powerful that it can peer into the origins of the universe.
The first fully formed images are due July 12, but NASA has provided a test image of 72 exposures over 32 hours that shows a range of distant stars and galaxies.
NASA said in a statement that the image has some jagged edges, but is still one of the deepest images of the universe ever taken.
Jane Rigby, Webb operations scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, said “the faintest spots in this image are exactly the types of faint galaxies that Webb will study in his first year of science.”
NASA administrator Bill Nelson said last week that Webba is capable of seeing farther into space than any other telescope before him.
Webb’s infrared capabilities allow him to see into the past, all the way back to the Big Bang, which happened 13.8 billion years ago.
As the universe expands, light from the very first stars shifts from the ultraviolet and visible wavelengths in which it was emitted to longer infrared wavelengths, which Webb is able to detect with unprecedented resolution.
Currently, the earliest cosmological observations date back 330 million years from the Big Bang, but thanks to Webb’s capabilities, astronomers believe they can easily beat this record.
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