First Webb Telescope image gets presidential treatment

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‘Webb’s First Deep Field’: President Biden released the first science image of the James Webb Space Telescope during a July 11 briefing. Click here to enlarge. Credit: NASA/ESA/CSA/STScI

President Joe Biden had the honor of revealing the first color image of the James Webb Space Telescope during an event at the White House.

The image, titled “Webb’s First Deep Field”, is of the galaxy cluster SMACS 0723. According to NASA, the image covers a patch of sky about the size of a grain of sand held at the end of arm by someone on the ground. The agency said it includes thousands of galaxies, “including the faintest objects ever observed in the infrared.”

“As an international collaboration, this telescope embodies how America leads the world not by the example of our power, but by the power of our example – a partnership with others,” Biden said during the speech. premiere just after 6 p.m. EDT (22:00 UTC) July 11. “He symbolizes the relentless spirit of American ingenuity.”

After 25 years of development at a cost of around $10 billion, a bite-sized launch on Christmas Day 2021, and six months of painstaking deployments and instrument calibrations, the world is seeing science-grade images for the first time. from the largest space infrared telescope.

Last week, NASA released a technical test image that was produced in mid-May. The agency said it was not optimized for scientific observation and designed to test Webb’s ability to lock onto a target. What was produced was still one of the most profound images of the universe ever taken.

This new image, however, shows just how much resolution can be produced thanks to the light-gathering capabilities of Webb’s 21-foot (6.5-meter) diameter primary mirror — and there’s more to come.

At 9:45 a.m. EDT (1:45 p.m. UTC) on July 12, NASA and the Webb Telescope leadership team will air opening remarks on NASA TV before unveiling additional images at 10:30 a.m. EDT (2:30 p.m. UTC).

Video courtesy of the White House

Tagged: James Webb Space Telescope Joe Biden Lead Stories NASA White House

Derek Richardson

Derek Richardson is a graduate in mass media, majoring in contemporary journalism, from Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. While at Washburn, he was editor of the student-run newspaper, the Washburn Review. He also has a blog about the International Space Station, called Orbital Velocity.

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