The James Webb Space Telescope is finally prepared to begin its mission to explore the depths of our cosmos after 14 years of development and six months of calibration. The first colored image from the space telescope, showing a glimpse at the early universe, was released by NASA and President Joe Biden on Monday.
NASA claims that “Webb’s First Deep Field” is the most detailed and “deep” image of the far reaches of the universe to date. What you see is a snapshot of the SMACS 0723 galaxy cluster as it was 4.6 billion years ago. The massive collection of galaxies in the image acts as a gravitational lens, enlarging the much farther away celestial objects visible in the background.
Astronomers will soon study some of the galaxies to learn more about the evolution of our universe because they contain previously unseen features. NASA points out that Webb’s First Deep Field does not represent our first glimpse of the cosmos. The Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE), a microwave telescope, captured images closer to the Big Bang, but it did not provide a view of stars and galaxies like the one captured by Webb.
During the briefing on Monday, NASA administrator Bill Nelson said to President Biden, “Mr. President, if you held a grain of sand on the tip of your finger at arm’s length, that is the part of the universe that you’re seeing.” “Just a tiny fraction of the universe,”
For NASA, the journey to this momentous occasion has been a long one. The JWST was initially intended to be launched by the organization in 2007. NASA finally finished the project in and predicted that the spacecraft would be ready for launch by 2018 following a redesign in 2005. The telescope was assembled by NASA in 2019, but testing and shipping were further delayed when the pandemic broke out. In total, those delays resulted in a $10 billion cost for the JWST project.
The naming of NASA’s most advanced space telescope after James Webb, a former agency administrator, has also generated debate. Prior to leading NASA’s Mercury, Gemini, and early Apollo programs, Webb worked for the US State Department when the department was firing hundreds of gay and lesbian employees. NASA declared in September that the JWST’s name would not be altered.
The photo Biden shared today is just one of several JWST images NASA plans to release this week. When NASA holds a press conference with Webb leadership tomorrow morning at 9:45PM ET, the remainder of the initial slate will be released. 10:30AM ET marks the beginning of live coverage of the event on,, and.