On the anniversary of NASA’s Webb telescope reaching the destination, here are the most exciting images yet

Tuesday marks one year ago James Webb Space Telescope It has reached its destination, which is orbiting a million miles from Earth.

The Webb telescope, which was launched on Christmas Day 2021, was a collaboration between NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency with the goal of studying the composition of the first galaxies in the universe, how it compares to galaxies today, how our solar system evolved and if there is life on other planets. .

It uses infrared radiation to detect objects in space and can display celestial bodies that are generally invisible to the naked eye.

Since then, the Webb telescope has sent back many images, including stars, planets, nebulae, and even galaxies millions of miles away.

Here are some of the most striking photos taken throughout the year:

PHOTO: Engineers and technicians assemble the James Webb Space Telescope at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, November 2, 2016, in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Engineers and technicians assemble the James Webb Space Telescope at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, November 2, 2016, in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Alex Wong / Getty Images

distant galaxies

The first full-color image captured by the Webb Telescope was revealed during a press event on July 11 at The White House hosted by President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

The image of galaxy cluster SMACS 0723 is the “deepest and sharpest infrared image of the distant universe yet,” according to NASA.

distant galaxies

In the first image from the James Webb Space Telescope to be released on July 11, 2022, the deepest and sharpest infrared image of the early universe was captured in less than a day. It took several weeks for Hubble to produce similar images. The space background is black, with thousands of galaxies appearing in varying shapes and colors. These galaxies are part of the SMACS 0723 galaxy cluster and distort the appearance of the visible galaxies around them.

Space Telescope Science Institute / NASA

Thousands of galaxies can be seen in the image, but they, according to NASA, cover the size of a person holding a grain of sand at arm’s length.

It was the first time the public understood just how powerful Webb was compared to its predecessor, the Hubble Telescope, which could only see visible light and ultraviolet and near-infrared light.

cosmic slopes

The photo was revealed on July 12th During an event held by NASANew details about the Carina Nebula, located in the Milky Way.

Only the edge of the nebula can be seen, but the image shows hundreds of stars that were once hidden by a cloud of gas and dust.

Image: Behind the curtain of dust and gas in these cosmic recesses are previously hidden baby stars, revealed by NASA's James Webb Space Telescope in an image released July 12, 2022.

Behind the curtain of dust and gas in these cosmic recesses are previously hidden baby stars, revealed by NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope in an image released July 12, 2022.

NASA/ESA/CSA/STScI

The region, which is referred to as the cosmic slopes, shows a “giant gaseous cavity” where newly born young stars shove ultraviolet light and form a jagged-looking rim.

The cloud-like structure of the nebula contains hills, peaks and valleys – an appearance very similar to a mountain range.

Jupiter in detail

On Aug. 22, NASA open Two new images of Jupiter, taken by Webb, show the planet’s atmosphere, rings and moons in unprecedented detail.

The first image is a composite showing swirls of different colors, indicating Jupiter’s turbulent atmosphere, and the infamous Great Red Spot, which can produce winds of over 250 miles per hour.

The second image shows the rings of Jupiter, which is a million times fainter than the planet’s — according to NASA — and two of its moons, Adrastea and Amalthea.

Jupiter

An image of Jupiter, taken by NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope on August 22, 2022, is from the telescope’s Near Infrared Camera, which has three specialized infrared filters that show details of the planet. In this wide view, Webb sees Jupiter with its fainter rings, which are a million times fainter than the planet’s, and two small moons called Amalthea and Adrastea. The hazy patches in the lower background are likely galaxies “light-blasting” in this Jovian view.

Space Telescope Science Institute / NASA

phantom galaxy

It was first released on August 30 by ESAWebb took an image of the Phantom Galaxy, located about 32 million light-years from Earth.

Also known as the M74, the Phantom Galaxy has a low surface brightness, which makes it difficult to see and requires clear, dark skies to do so. However, Webb’s sharp lens captured the clearest picture of the galaxy’s properties.

NASA wrote in a letter Share on social media. A mottled cluster of young stars glows blue in the galactic core.

Phantom Galaxy

This image from the James Webb Space Telescope, released on August 31, 2022, shows the core of M74, also known as the Phantom Galaxy. The telescope revealed gray filaments that form a spiral pattern winding outward from the center of the galaxy. These spiral arms of the galaxy are traced in blue and pink and represent regions where stars are forming. The galactic core is colored blue and has specks, which are young stars forming around the galactic nucleus.

Space Telescope Science Institute / NASA

pillars of creation

NASA released an image of the “Pillars of Creation” — bright red young stars within a billowing cloud of gas and dust — on October 19.

The Pillars of Creation are the Elephant Trunks, a type of formation of interstellar matter, located in the Eagle Nebula, which is about 6,500 to 7,000 light-years away from Earth, according to the space agency.

pillars of creation

The Pillars of Creation contain layers of near-opaque rusty red gas and dust that start at the lower left and move towards the upper right in this image from the James Webb Space Telescope, released on October 19, 2022. The Pillars of Creation were first captured by the Hubble telescope in The year is 1995, and it was imaged by the Webb telescope in near-infrared light, which is not visible to the human eye. Vision in infrared allows Webb to cut through dust and reveal many stars. Webb’s image maps out a more accurate count of newborn stars, along with amounts of gas and dust.

Space Telescope Science Institute / NASA

Fiery hourglass

released On November 16, the Webb telescope reveals a protostar, which is the early stages of a star’s birth.

The red and orange gas cloud turns into a fiery hourglass shape.

As it pulls material in, its core will compress, heat up and eventually initiate nuclear fusion, resulting in the formation of a star.

Fiery hourglass

The James Webb Space Telescope captures a fiery hourglass when a new star forms in a photo released November 16, 2022. Hidden in the neck of this “hourglass” of light are the beginnings of a new star, known as a protostar. This protostar is a hot, puffy mass of gas that makes up only a fraction of the mass of the Sun. As it pulls material in, its core will compress, heat up and eventually initiate nuclear fusion, resulting in the formation of a star.

Space Telescope Science Institute / NASA

The coldest ice ever measured

The last image released by NASA before the first anniversary shows a molecular cloud, where stars and planets are born, with icy ingredients.

The telescope shows the frozen shape of the elements, including carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and sulfur.

Image: This image by the Near Infrared Camera of NASA's James Webb Space Telescope (NIRCam) shows the central region of the dark molecular cloud Chamaeleon I, which lies 630 light-years away.

This image by the Near Infrared Camera of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (NIRCam) shows the central region of the dark molecular cloud Chamaeleon I, located 630 light-years away.

Space Telescope Science Institute/NASA, European Space Agency, Canadian Space Agency, and McClure

NASA wrote in a Share on social media On January 23rd. “This molecular cloud is so cold and dark that various molecules froze onto grains of dust within it. Webb’s data proves for the first time that molecules more complex than methanol can form in the icy depths of these clouds before stars are born.”

ABC News’ Max Zahn contributed to this report.

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