First full-color images from James Webb Space Telescope are coming July 12

Shawn Knight

Posts: 14,145   +154
Staff member
Something to look forward to: The first full-color images from the James Webb Space Telescope will be shared with the public on July 12. While governing bodies have already decided what Webb's first targets will be, nobody is really sure exactly what the first images will look like.

Webb, a partnership between NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), is the largest and most complex telescope ever launched into space. NASA shared images from the scope's coldest instrument, the Mid-Infrared instrument (MIRI), in May that highlighted the instrument's sharp focus.

The upcoming images will be the first full-color examples and the first to demonstrate all of Webb's science capabilities. Spectroscopic data will also accompany the images, we're told. Furthermore, all of the data captured while aligning the scope and preparing its instruments will also be made available to the public.

Eric Smith, a Webb program scientist at NASA headquarters, said the images will offer a unique moment for everyone to stop and marvel at a view humanity has never seen before.

"Of course, there are things we are expecting and hoping to see, but with a new telescope and this new high-resolution infrared data, we just won't know until we see it," said Joseph DePasquale, lead science visuals developer at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore.

Webb could very well reveal unexpected discoveries that nobody saw coming, just as the Hubble Space Telescope did decades ago. It may also help answer the age-old question of whether or not we are alone in the universe.

Image credit: Pixabay

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VitalyT

Posts: 6,236   +6,769
And we know what's coming...

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Uncle Al

Posts: 8,774   +7,696
Certainly we will see more and more discoveries. I am curious to see them turn it on that newly discovered black hole in the center of our Milky Way, although they won't be able to peer into the center of it, anything on the event horizon should be interesting.
 

Lew Zealand

Posts: 2,151   +2,604
TechSpot Elite
Webb is far too small to see any detail on any black holes, by orders of magnitude. The telescope array they used to make the black hole picture is the size of the entire planet. Webb is a little smaller than that.
 

BigRedPDX

Posts: 271   +191
Why such a long wait? gotta shop out the evidence of that alien armada eh?
Can't be causing chaos amongst the masses just yet lol

I can't wait to get the new images from the telescope. We really have made some significant advancements in space travel and research. I'm ready to learn more.
 

Nanochip

Posts: 66   +110
I tip my hats off to the engineers at NASA and it’s counterparts around the world to productize such technology and launch it outside of atmosphere. Space and other planets are so beautiful to me. Saturn’s moon Titan, with its substantial atmosphere with hydrocarbons and so forth is so cool. Too bad it’s so far away from the Sun so as to not be able to sustain life as we know it. Good job!
 

mrvco

Posts: 172   +164
Kudos to James Webb... I hope he has plenty of food and water. Domino's doesn't deliver to L2 (yet).
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 7,706   +6,654
Webb is far too small to see any detail on any black holes, by orders of magnitude. The telescope array they used to make the black hole picture is the size of the entire planet. Webb is a little smaller than that.
Still, this is going to be an interesting mission. They might just discover planet 9 with it since its primary wavelengths are in the IR and planet 9, assuming it actually exists, probably reflects far too little visible light to be seen by "ordinary" telescopes.
 

Lew Zealand

Posts: 2,151   +2,604
TechSpot Elite
Still, this is going to be an interesting mission. They might just discover planet 9 with it since its primary wavelengths are in the IR and planet 9, assuming it actually exists, probably reflects far too little visible light to be seen by "ordinary" telescopes.

This is my personal hope for Webb. IR should ideal for finding dim but still relatively warm objects at the distant edges of our solar system. Especially Planet 9.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 7,706   +6,654
This is my personal hope for Webb. IR should ideal for finding dim but still relatively warm objects at the distant edges of our solar system. Especially Planet 9.
Agreed! I think astronomers are going to find out a lot of unexpected and interesting things at those wavelengths.:cool:
 

Endymio

Posts: 1,518   +1,459
Webb is far too small to see any detail on any black holes, by orders of magnitude. The telescope array they used to make the black hole picture is the size of the entire planet
Actually, one of Webb's very first tasks will be to join that EHT array:

"NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope will be joining the [imaging] effort. During Webb’s first slate of observations, astronomers will use its infrared imaging power to address some of the unique and persistent challenges presented by the Milky Way’s black hole, named Sagittarius A*...."

And all by itself, Webb's near-infrared spectrometer will be tasked to search for primeval black hole "seeds" -- tens of billions of light-years away, right on the very horizon of the visible universe.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 7,706   +6,654
Actually, one of Webb's very first tasks will be to join that EHT array:

"NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope will be joining the [imaging] effort. During Webb’s first slate of observations, astronomers will use its infrared imaging power to address some of the unique and persistent challenges presented by the Milky Way’s black hole, named Sagittarius A*...."

And all by itself, Webb's near-infrared spectrometer will be tasked to search for primeval black hole "seeds" -- tens of billions of light-years away, right on the very horizon of the visible universe.
I'm sure what you mean is that Webb's data will be used in addition to the EHT Array data - rather than Webb contributing to the EHT data as part of another arm of the VLB interferometer.
 

Endymio

Posts: 1,518   +1,459
I'm sure what you mean is that Webb's data will be used in addition to the EHT Array data - rather than Webb contributing to the EHT data as part of another arm of the VLB interferometer.
Of course. How could an infrared scope perform interferometry with a radiotelescope array? The quote I provided makes clear that JWST is joining the imaging effort.