Space lovers are in for these stunning images from NASA’s James Webb Telescope

Webb made this detailed image of the Hand galaxy and two smaller companion galaxies in August 2022

Dubbed the world’s most powerful telescope, NASA’s James Webb Telescope captured some stunning images of our universe this year, mesmerizing space enthusiasts. The $10 billion Next Generation Observatory launches on December 25, 2021, on an Ariane 5 rocket from the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana. Named for a former NASA administrator, Webb follows in the footsteps of the legendary Hubble Telescope, but gives us glimpses into a universe that was previously inaccessible to us. Webb is about 100 times more powerful than Hubble.

On its one-year anniversary, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) captured five incredible images in 2022 that have revolutionized the image of space.

Deepest Infrared Image of the Early Universe


In the first image, taken in July 2022, Webb revealed the “deepest, sharpest infrared image” ever taken of the early universe, dating back 13 billion years. The stunning image, released by President Joe Biden at a White House briefing, shows thousands of galaxies spilling over and showcases the faintest objects ever observed, in colors ranging from infrared to blue, orange and white . This image shows galaxy cluster SMACS 0723, which emerged 4.6 billion years ago, with many more galaxies in its wake.

Carina Nebula


That same month, the telescope revealed emerging stellar nurseries and individual stars in the Carina Nebula that had previously been obscured. Known as the cosmic cliffs, Webb’s seemingly three-dimensional images look like craggy mountains on a moonlit night. In fact, it’s the edge of a huge air cavity within NGC 3324, the tallest “mountain” pictured here about 7 light-years high.

ring of neptune


In September 2022, the telescope captured the clearest view of Neptune’s rings in more than 30 years. In 1989, NASA’s Voyager 2 became the first spacecraft to capture images of Neptune. Not only has Webb captured the sharpest view since the Voyager 2 spacecraft flew by the distant planet’s rings in 1989, but its camera has also revealed the ice giant in a whole new light, according to NASA. Webb also captured seven of Neptune’s 14 known moons.

cartwheel galaxy


In August 2022, Webb’s powerful infrared stare produced this detailed image of the Wheel and two smaller companion galaxies against a backdrop of many other galaxies. According to a NASA release, the image provides a new perspective on the evolution of the Milky Way over billions of years. Located about 500 million light-years away in the constellation Sculptor (the Cartwheel Galaxy) is a rare sight. Its appearance, much like a carriage wheel, was the result of a violent event — a high-speed collision between a large spiral galaxy and a smaller galaxy not visible in this image.

pillars of creation


In October 2022, the James Webb Telescope captured a lush and highly detailed view of the iconic “Pillars of Creation.” The twinkling of thousands of stars has illuminated the telescope’s first image of massive gold, copper and brown pillars in the cosmic “Pillars of Creation” in the Eagle Nebula of our Milky Way galaxy, 6,500 light-years from Earth.

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