The curtain has finally risen over the sky seen by the James Webb Space Telescope. After more than twenty-five years of waiting, multiple postponements, and budget fluctuations, Earthlings have this new insight to survey the universe. On Monday, July 11, US President Joe Biden raised the same eyelid, unveiling the first image of JWST (its English acronym), built by NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and their Canadian counterpart (CSA). New footage will be revealed Tuesday, July 12th in the afternoon.
“History day”, saluted Joe Biden, praising the arrival of the image on the screen. This first image is a pyrotechnic of rather broad spots of light, more or less bright and of different colours, with fantastic arcs at times shattering the black sky. These dozens, even hundreds of pieces are the same number of galaxies that inhabit the universe. Inaudible in such a small square space, about the size of a grain of sand at the end of the arm. If a slight impression of blur might surprise you, this shot attests to the success of the giant 6.5-meter mirror telescope, launched on Christmas 2021, and which is now deployed 1.5 million kilometers from Earth and is fully operational.
Colleagues told me they had tears in their eyes when they saw this first picture. »Johann Richard, astronomer
The tool already confirms that it is a formidable time machine. To the origins of the Big Bang, trace the flickering light that took more than 13 billion years to reach us. “It’s the telescope’s first goal, which is to investigate the dawn of time, and the origin of stars and galaxies a few tens of millions of years after the Big Bang.”summarizes David Elbaz, researcher at the French Authority for Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy (CEA).
“That’s great! It’s really very rich. My colleagues told me they had tears in their eyes when they saw this first picture.”Johann Richard, an astronomer at the Astrophysical Research Center at the Lyon Observatory, testifies to his delight at this first symbolic choice. “ It’s fun to see these first pictures, and now we can start dreaming.”greets Nicole Nesvadba, Director of Research at the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), at the Observatory of the Côte d’Azur. “The level of detail is breathtaking. We will really see the universe differently. Looking forward to the other images »This was stated by Olivier Bernier, researcher at the National Center for Scientific Research at the Institute for Research in Astrophysics and Planetary Sciences in Toulouse.
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