NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has captured never-before-seen galaxies that look like dazzling diamonds in the blackness of space. The image transports viewers 13.5 billion years ago to an early universe with faint, distant lights emanating from newly formed galaxies in an area known as the North Ecliptic Pole.
The swath of sky captured in the photograph is only two percent covered by Earth’s full moon, but JWST can look deep into this region and observe thousands of bright galaxies stretching to the farthest corners of the universe. The cosmic objects seen in the image are billions of times fainter than can be seen with the naked eye, but the telescope’s Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) captured the spectra of light coming from the objects in the image.
A new image from the NASA telescope captures thousands of never-before-seen galaxies that formed 13.5 billion years ago, 200 million years after the Big Bang. The image is one of the first mid-depth wide-field images of the cosmos and is from the GTO program of Prime Extragalactic Areas for Reionization and Lensing Science (PEARLS). The researchers involved in this work explain that ‘medium depth’ refers to the faintest objects that can be seen in this image, which are about magnitude 29 (a billion times fainter than what can be seen with the naked eye). ).
And ‘wide field’ refers to the total area that the program will cover, roughly one twelfth the area of a full moon. Rogier Windhorst, Regents Professor at Arizona State University (ASU) and Principal Investigator for PEARLS, said in a statement: “For more than two decades, I have worked with a large international team of scientists to prepare our Webb Science Program.” Webb’s images are truly phenomenal, truly beyond my wildest dreams. They allow me to measure the number density of galaxies that shine down to the very faint infrared limits and the total amount of light they produce.
The image includes eight different colors from NIRCam and three colors from ultraviolet and visible light from the Hubble Space Telescope. Jake Summers, a research assistant at ASU, said, “Webb’s images far exceed what we expected from my simulations in the months leading up to the first scientific observations.” ‘Looking at them, I was very surprised by the exquisite resolution.