Scientists are celebrating one year of science from the James Webb Space Telescope with a jaw-dropping image.
To mark the completion of a successful first year, NASA has shown off Webb’s vibrant picture of a small star-forming region in the Rho Ophiuchi cloud complex.
They explain: “From our cosmic backyard in the solar system to distant galaxies near the dawn of time, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has delivered on its promise of revealing the universe like never before in its first year of science operations.”
The first-anniversary image displays star birth “like it’s never been seen before,” full of detailed, impressionistic texture. The subject is the Rho Ophiuchi cloud complex, the closest star-forming region to Earth.
NASA explains: “It is a relatively small, quiet stellar nursery, but you’d never know it from Webb’s chaotic close-up. Jets bursting from young stars crisscross the image, impacting the surrounding interstellar gas and lighting up molecular hydrogen, shown in red. Some stars display the telltale shadow of a circumstellar disk, the makings of future planetary systems.”
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson adds: “In just one year, the James Webb Space Telescope has transformed humanity’s view of the cosmos, peering into dust clouds and seeing light from faraway corners of the universe for the very first time. Every new image is a new discovery, empowering scientists around the globe to ask and answer questions they once could never dream of
“Webb is an investment in American innovation but also a scientific feat made possible with NASA’s international partners that share a can-do spirit to push the boundaries of what is known to be possible. Thousands of engineers, scientists, and leaders poured their life’s passion into this mission, and their efforts will continue to improve our understanding of the origins of the universe – and our place in it.”
The James Webb Space Telescope is currently conducting infrared astronomy. As the largest telescope in space, it is equipped with high-resolution and high-sensitivity instruments, allowing it to view objects too old, distant, or faint for the Hubble Space Telescope.
Produced in association with SWNS Talker
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