NASA unveils new telescope photos showing star death, dancing galaxies

NASA on Tuesday unveiled a new batch of images from its new powerful space telescope, including a dying star foamy blue and orange shot.

The first image of the $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope was released at the White House on Monday – a jumble of distant galaxies that have gone deeper into the universe than humanity.

Four additional photos released Tuesday include more cosmic beauty shots.

With one exception, the latest images showed parts of the universe seen by other telescopes. But Webb’s enormous power, space far from Earth and his use of the infrared light spectrum showed him in a new light.

“Every image is a new discovery and will give each humanity a view of humanity we’ve never seen before,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said Tuesday.

The use of the web infrared light spectrum allows the telescope to view through cosmic dust and “see light from the corners of the universe”.

“We have really changed our understanding of the universe,” said Joseph Eschbacher, director general of the European Space Agency.

European and Canadian space agencies joined with NASA in building the powerful telescope.

Tap Tuesday:

— The Southern Ring Nebula, sometimes called the “Eight-Eruption”. About 2,500 light-years away, it shows a rising cloud of gas around a dying star. A light year is 5.8 trillion miles.

— The Carina Nebula, one of the brightest stellar nurseries in the sky, about 7,600 light-years away.

– Five galaxies in a cosmic dance, 290 million light years away. Stephen’s Quintet was first observed 225 years ago in the constellation Pegasus.

– A blue giant planet called WASP-96B. It is about the size of Saturn and is 1,150 light-years away. A gas planet, it is not a candidate for life elsewhere but an important goal for astronomers.

The images were released one by one at an event at NASA’s Goddard Space Center that included fanfare cheerleaders the color of the telescope’s golden mirrors.

The world’s largest and most powerful space telescope took off from French Guiana in South America last December. It reached its lookout point 1 million miles (1.6 million kilometers) from Earth in January. Then the lengthy process began to align the mirrors, cooling the infrared detectors enough to operate and calibrate the science instruments, all protected by a sunshade the size of a tennis court that kept the telescope cool.

Webb is considered the successor to the highly successful, but aging Hubble Space Telescope.


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