NASA reveals glorious new James Webb images of the ancient universe

We’re only at the beginning of James Webb’s journey.

And now we have an idea of what the next few years will have in store. It will be a time marked by awe-inspiring images of distant galaxies and massive “cosmic cliffs” shrouded around baby stars.

Yesterday, U.S. President Biden revealed the first full-color image taken by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) to the world.

Now, NASA is revealing four more images taken by the world’s most powerful space observatory. Follow along with live updates and on NASA TV below.

Spectrum readings reveal water in gas exoplanet’s atmosphere

NASA just released new spectrum readings of a gas exoplanet 1,000 light-years away. In NASA’s own words, “WASP-96 b is a giant planet outside our solar system, composed mainly of gas. The planet, located nearly 1,150 light-years from Earth, orbits its star every 3.4 days. It has about half the mass of Jupiter, and its discovery was announced in 2014.”

And JWST revealed that there is water in WASP-96 b’s atmosphere.

An image of a dying star

NASA released a new image of a dying star. The space agency revealed a side-by-side of the Southern Ring nebula and its pair of stars by Webb’s NIRCam (L) & MIRI (R) instruments.

“The dimmer, dying star is expelling gas and dust that Webb sees through in unprecedented detail,” NASA says.

Webb’s largest image to date

“In Webb’s image of Stephan’s Quintet, we see 5 galaxies, 4 of which interact. (The left galaxy is in the foreground!) Webb will revolutionize our knowledge of star formation & gas interactions in these galaxies,” NASA writes on Twitter.

NASA explains that its mosaic of Stephan’s Quintet is its largest image to date. Located approximately 290 million light-years away, Stephan’s Quintet is located in the constellation Pegasus. It was the first compact galaxy group ever discovered way back in 1877.

James Webb’s mind-blowing Carina nebula observation

They saved the best for last.

James Webb has uncovered baby stars behind the “Cosmic Cliffs” of the Carina nebula.

NASA reveals glorious new James Webb images of the ancient universe
Source: NASA

“Webb’s new view gives us a rare peek into stars in their earliest, rapid stages of formation. For an individual star, this period only lasts about 50,000 to 100,000 years,” NASA says.

The Carina Nebula is located 7,600 lightyears away and is one of the brightest nebulae in the sky, in the southern constellation Carina. It shows one of James Webb’s main Infrared camera capabilities — being able to peer through dust cloud to observe newly-forming stars. No wonder NASA saved it for last.

This is a live article, and it will be updated regularly as more information emerges.

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