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James Webb Space Telescope Captured The Deepest View Into Our Universe

Incredible images have been released by NASA, taken with the James Webb Space Telescope, detailing never before seen galaxies and new angles of nebulas that were not visible before. The Webb Telescope was designed to follow up the Hubble Space Telescope, which launched in 1990, to capture photos that are more detailed than ever that 90s technology could not have perfected. The painting-like image that has been circulating the internet for the last couple days captures the Carina Nebula, which is a key star-forming region in our galaxy, and was said to “reveal previously obscured areas of star birth.” 

While the historic photos taken by Hubble over 30 years ago revealed unseen territories of our galaxy, these newly taken images almost don’t look real, capturing vibrant colors and increased detail of wavelengths with different infrared lenses. While it is hard to accurately scale the size of the Carina Nebula in the beautiful image shared, NASA shared that what looks like mountainous peaks has “been carved from the nebula by the intense ultraviolet radiation and stellar winds from extremely massive, hot, young stars located in the center of the bubble,” with the largest “peaks” being 7 light-years high. 

Near-infrared and mid-infrared images taken of Stephan’s Quintet, a galaxy cluster 290 million light-years away, reveal areas of star formation between the galaxies, as well as the gas distribution from one galaxy to another. The galaxy cluster SMACS 0723, which looks like the floor of a 90s roller rink, depicts more than just a colorful and seemingly random arrangement of galaxies; the image was revealed by President Joe Biden to the White House on Monday, and is now the deepest image of the universe ever taken. The photo contains thousands of galaxies in a single shot, and the insane aspect of this image to process is that since we are about 5 billion light-years away from SMACS 0723, what we see in this image is actually what the galaxy cluster looked like 4.6 billion years ago.

Whether you are into astronomy or not, these spectacular pictures taken by the James Webb Space Telescope give important insight into the composition of our universe, and also cause existential feelings to rise again as we realize how much more there is beyond earth. 


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