Nebulas & Galaxies & Stars, oh my! Webb Telescope Releases Jaw-Dropping Images

Move over, Star Wars and Marvel, because the James Webb Space Telescope just proved that nothing beats the real thing.

The photos that NASA released on June 12 reveal awe-inspiring new visuals that plumb the depths of our universe deeper than ever before.

The information clearly represents a watershed moment in the history of humanity’s search among the stars. And the Webb telescope’s mission to peer backward through the history of the universe has only just begun.

A new view of our universe

This is the deepest and sharpest infrared image of the distant universe ever seen by man.

 

“The dawn of a new era in astronomy has begun as the world gets its first look at the full capabilities of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, a partnership with ESA (European Space Agency) and CSA (Canadian Space Agency),” NASA wrote in its announcement.

The images represent the first full-color photos and spectroscopic data that the James Webb Telescope has collected. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland released them in a televised broadcast.

Southern Ring Nebula

Southern Ring Nebula

This side-by-side comparison shows observations of the Southern Ring Nebula in near-infrared light, at left, and mid-infrared light, at right, from NASA’s Webb Telescope.

 

However stunning, the kaleidoscopic images of vibrant nebulas and far-away galaxies represent only the first taste of the Webb telescope’s mission. Webb, NASA says, will investigate celestial enigmas, “look beyond to distant worlds around other stars, and probe the mysterious structures and origins of our universe and our place in it.”

Representatives from NASA and its two mission partners, as well as the Space Telescope Science Institute, chose the selects.

“Today, we present humanity with a groundbreaking new view of the cosmos from the James Webb Space Telescope — a view the world has never seen before,” NASA administrator Bill Nelson said in the announcement. “These images, including the deepest view of our universe that has ever been taken, show us how Webb will help to uncover the answers to questions we don’t even yet know to ask; questions that will help us better understand our universe and humanity’s place within it.”

stephans quintet NASA

This group of galaxies, called Stephan’s Quintet, is located in the constellation Pegasus.