First Webb images coming July 12. Look here.

Soon the first Webb images!

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson recently said that – when the space agency releases the first Webb images on July 12 – one of the images will be the deepest ever captured of our universe. He said during a press briefing on June 29, 2022 at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore that the image will reveal part of space:

… Farther than mankind has ever looked before.

And he noted that Webb – successor to the Hubble Space Telescope – will be able to peer even further than this new image. It will look further into space, and therefore further into time, than any telescope before. This fact recalls a decades-old question in astronomy: how far can we see the Big Bang itself, the event in which our universe was born? Read more about returning to the Big Bang below.

In the meantime, NASA – along with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) – plans to release the first color spectroscopic images and data from the James Webb Space Telescope during a television broadcast beginning at 2:30 p.m. UTC. (10:30 a.m. EDT) July 12, from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The events will continue until the following day. Details on how to view the images and a schedule of events below.

Count up to the real big of Webb’s first footage here.

Artist’s impression of the James Webb Space Telescope, successor to Hubble. NASA calls it “an engineering marvel”. It will look farther into space – and so far back in time – than any telescope before it. This is because its main mirror is huge. It is made up of 18 hexagonal segments, altogether measuring more than 21 feet or 6.5 meters in diameter. Additionally, Webb’s instruments focus on the infrared part of the spectrum, allowing him to see through dust and gas. Image via NASA/

Webb images release day is July 12

NASA announced that it will release the first images of Webb one by one on July 12. Each image will be simultaneously made available on social media as well as on the agency’s website at:

Note that early footage of Webb is under embargo until July 12 and will not be available until released to the public.

NASA invites you to stay connected with the mission and share your experience with Webb’s first images on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram with #UnfoldTheUniverse. You can follow and tag these accounts:

Twitter: @NASA, @NASAWebb
Facebook: NASA, NASA Webb
Instagram: NASA, @NASAWebb

Here is a list of release activities (all times Eastern):

Tuesday, July 12, activities: Starting at 10:30 a.m. EDT

Official Image Release – Live coverage of the broadcast of the image will air on NASA TV, the NASA app and the agency’s website. The public can also watch live on Facebook, TwitterYouTube, Twitch and DailyMotion.

NASA Social Media: NASA will host an in-person NASA social event on Tuesday, July 12. Attendees will join as guests for the TV show’s studio shoot at NASA Goddard, tour NASA Goddard and STScI facilities, and interact with experts from the Webb mission.

Wednesday, July 13, activities: From 3 p.m. EDT

NASA Live Science: Webb experts will answer questions about the first images and data in a NASA Science Live broadcast. The show, Webb’s First Full-Color Images Explained, will be streamed live on NASA’s Science Live website, as well as on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Viewers of this episode can submit questions on social media using the hashtag #UnfoldtheUniverse or by leaving a comment in the chat section of the Facebook or YouTube stream.

At the same time, NASA will also be broadcasting a live social media event in Spanish on its NASA en español sites YouTube, Facebook and Twitter accounts. Experts Webb Begoña Vila and Néstor Espinoza will discuss the release of the first images and answer questions from subscribers.

NASA Social Media: The agency will host a second in-person NASA social on Wednesday, July 13. Participants will join as guests for the studio shoot of the TV show at NASA Goddard, tour NASA Goddard and STScI facilities, and interact with experts from the Webb Mission.

Entertainment all summer

Webb Community Events: The public can also join in the excitement of Webb’s first color images by attending one of the many official Webb Space Telescope community events taking place across the country this summer. The list of events celebrating Webb’s first images is available online and updated frequently.

Overlay images showing different views of a star between the Legacy and Webb telescopes.
See bigger. | How clearly will the Webb Space Telescope see the universe? This image compares an image from the Legacy Survey — an existing 14,000 square degree survey of the extragalactic sky, producing high-quality optical and near-infrared catalogs — with what scientists expect from the James Webb Space Telescope.

How far will we see the Big Bang?

How far will Webb be able to see? As you probably know, looking out into space is like looking back in time. This is because light – the fastest moving substance in the universe – does not travel infinitely fast. It moves at a finite speed (186,000 miles per second, or about 300,000 kps). For decades, astronomers have wondered…if we could look far enough into space, how far away could we see the Big Bang in which our universe was born? NASA said that currently:

… The first cosmological observations date back less than 330 million years to the Big Bang. But, with Webb’s abilities, astronomers believe they can easily break the record.

The Big Bang happened 13.8 billion years ago. NASA explained:

Because the universe is expanding, the light from the first stars changes from the ultraviolet and visible wavelengths in which it was emitted to longer infrared wavelengths, which Webb is equipped to detect at unprecedented resolution. .

So How far will we see until the Big Bang? And What will we see? No one can answer these questions yet. But – as is the case every time a big and powerful new telescope comes online – we know we’ll see things that will amaze us and help reveal our place in the cosmos.

Read more: The Webb Telescope and the Big Bang

Early Webb images: Large telescope made up of individual hexagonal segments with an antenna in the middle.
Here is the James Webb Space Telescope on March 5, 2020, before launch. Image via NASA/Chris Gunn.

Webb launched end of 2021

The Webb is therefore a marvelous machine. The dream of building it began in 1996, when an 18-member committee of astronomers officially recommended that NASA develop a space telescope that would view the sky in infrared light. The launch was originally planned for 2007. The price was initially US$500 million. Then the delays started.

Webb was finally launched into space on December 25, 2021 from the Guiana Space Center (sometimes called Europe’s Spaceport) in Kourou, French Guiana.

After launch, the telescope began a month-long journey to the Sun-Earth Lagrange point known as L2. This point in the Sun-Earth system allows the spacecraft to “hover” relative to the Earth as the Earth and the spacecraft orbit the sun. The point is about four times the distance from the moon (about 1 million miles from Earth, or about 1.6 million km). On January 24, 2022, a midcourse corrective burn inserted Webb into his final orbit at L2.

Webb’s ground crew spent the next few months fine-tuning the telescope, making sure its mirrors were perfectly aligned and its instruments were working properly. Webb released test footage in May 2022.

Webb will explore all phases of cosmic history – from the interior of the solar system to the most distant observable galaxies of the early universe – and everything in between.

Linings emerging from the nose of a launched rocket revealing a bent Webb.
Artist’s concept of Webb’s launch on December 25, 2021 from Kourou in French Guiana, via an Arianespace Ariane 5 rocket. Image via ESA.

How long will Webb last?

NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy said during the press briefing in Baltimore on June 29, 2022 that with an efficient launch by NASA partner Arianespace, the telescope could remain operational for 20 years, the double the life initially envisaged. She commented:

Not only will these 20 years allow us to delve deeper into history and time, but we will delve deeper into science because we have the opportunity to learn, grow and make new observations.

Conclusion: On July 12, NASA will release the long-awaited first Webb images, including the deepest image of our universe ever taken.



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