today, NASA has released a list of celestial targets They will be revealed next week when the agency publishes the first full-color images taken by the James Webb Space Telescope, or JWST. Targets include galaxies, nebulae, and a giant planet outside our solar system.
JWST is NASA’s massive new Deep Space Observatory, which Launched on Christmas Day in 2021. The observatory has a large gold-plated mirror that extends over 21 feet and is designed to transform the field of astrophysics By collecting light from the first stars and galaxies that formed right after the Big Bang. It’s also designed to study objects throughout the universe in unprecedented detail, giving us insights into our distant solar system, planets outside our cosmic neighborhood, asteroids, exotic stars in the deepest regions of space, and more.
To get its first images, JWST observed these target objects and regions of space for 120 hours, collecting five days’ worth of data. Until now, we didn’t know much about what the first images of JWST were, although we did get some hints from NASA command. Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA associate administrator for science, revealed that we will see light from the atmosphere of a planet outside our solar system, known as an exoplanet. One of the images is “the deepest image of our universe ever taken,” said Bill Nelson, NASA administrator.
Now we can study these deep space destinations before we see them in vivid detail next week. (In the case of an exoplanet, we’d expect to get a glimpse of its spectrum, and the breakdown of light in its atmosphere.) The list of targets for this incredible moment was chosen by an international team from NASA, the European Space Agency, the Canadian Space Agency and the Space Telescope Science Institute, which oversees JWST’s science and operations.
Some of the targets we’ve seen before, thanks to images taken with the Hubble Space Telescope, JWST’s predecessor. But the JWST mirror is three times larger than the Hubble mirror. In addition, JWST is located approximately one million miles from Earth, while Hubble is in low Earth orbit. Compared to the Hubble images, the JWST images should be more detailed.
Check out the list of goals below, In addition to brief descriptions provided by NASA:
The Carina Nebula. The Carina Nebula is one of the largest and brightest nebulae in the sky, located about 7,600 light-years away in the southern constellation of Carina. Nebulae are stellar nurseries in which stars are formed. The Carina Nebula is home to many massive stars, several times larger than the Sun.
WASP-96b (spectrum). WASP-96 b is a giant planet outside our solar system, consisting primarily of gas. The planet is located about 1,150 light-years from Earth, and orbits its star every 3.4 days. The mass of Jupiter is about half that of Jupiter, and its discovery was announced in 2014.
The Southern Ring Nebula. The Southern Ring, or the “Eight Bursts” nebula, is a planetary nebula – an expanding gas cloud surrounding a dying star. It is roughly half a light-year in diameter and located about 2,000 light-years from Earth.
Stephen Quintet: About 290 million light-years away, Stephan’s Quintet is located in the constellation Pegasus. They are known for being the first compact group of galaxies ever discovered in 1787. Four of the five galaxies within the pentagram are locked in a cosmic dance of frequent close encounters.
SMACS 0723: Massive foreground galaxy clusters magnify and distort the light of the objects behind them, allowing deep field view of both very distant and intrinsically weak clusters of galaxies.
NASA is scheduled to release the images on July 12 at 10:30 a.m. ET. It will surely be impressive. “What I saw just moved me,” Pam Milroy, former astronaut and current deputy administrator of NASA, said during a news conference.
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