We get an astronomer's first impressions of the first images from the new James Webb Space Telescope
Astronomers, space scientists, and space enthusiasts around the world got their first look on Tuesday, July 12 at the first images collected by the James Webb Space Telescope. Nearly 30 years in the making, the new telescope marks a new age in astronomy and is expected to provide groundbreaking new scientific opportunities for decades to come. The JWST program is a partnership between NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency.
The Webb telescope launched in December 2021 and now sits in a stable orbit 1-million miles from Earth. It’s the most powerful space telescope ever with a much larger collecting area — or lens — than its predecessor, the Hubble Space Telescope which was launched into low Earth orbit in 1990 and is still in operation. Webb also captures longer wavelengths in the infrared spectrum which Hubble mostly doesn’t do.
To get an initial take on these new images and better understand what they’re showing we talked with Dr. Derek Buzasi shortly after they were released. He is an astronomer and Whitaker Eminent Scholar in Florida Gulf Coast University’s Department of Chemistry and Physics.
Click HERE to listen to our conversation with Dr. Buzasi and WMFE space reporter Brendan Byrne from just before the Webb launch last December where we go into greater detail about how it came to be, and how it works.
Click HERE to listen to our conversation with Dr. Buzasi about his work using the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) that is designed to discover new exoplanets for Webb to explore more closely.
Click HERE to explore a tool that shows a comparison of Webb’s capabilities versus Hubble’s.
Click HERE to see all of the new Webb images and information released by NASA on Tuesday.