It’s finally here: NASA has revealed the very first full-color photo taken with James Webb Space Telescope. Just looking at it made me gasp in awe, but learning more about it explains exactly why it’s so magnificent.
This is not only a historic moment as we finally get to see Webb’s very first photo. The photo is also the deepest and sharpest infrared view of the universe that’s ever been shot. It shows galaxies that once were invisible to us. Doesn’t that make you gasp in awe too?
Just as announced, the President of the US Joe Biden revealed the photo in a live stream on 11 July. The photo is known as Webb’s First Deep Field, and it shows galaxy cluster SMACS 0723 as it appeared 4.6 billion years ago. In this image are thousands of galaxies, along with the faintest objects ever observed in the infrared. It reminds me of Hubble’s iconic image of “nothing” taken in 1995. And you know what really blows my mind? The part of the universe in the photo covers a patch of sky about the size of a grain of sand held at arm’s length by someone on the ground.
After the first impressions settle, there’s more good news. NASA will release the full set of Webb’s first full-color images and spectroscopic data today, 12 July! A broadcast begins at 10:30 a.m. EDT (14:30 UTC), going live from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. You can find the stream on NASA TV, and of course, drop by at DIYPhotography later because we’re excited to share them, too!