A day after NASA showed how far the James Webb Space Telescope could dive into the cosmic frontier, scientists released additional pictures demonstrating the observatory’s scientific breadth.
Today’s data release highlighted the $10 billion telescope’s ability to analyze planetary atmospheres and record scenes of stellar birth and death in unprecedented detail.
The infrared images also demonstrated that the Webb Space Telescope’s 21-foot-wide mirror is ready to provide sharp pictures from the very start. That comes in contrast to the Hubble Space Telescope’s debut in 1990, when the initial images were marred by a flaw in its 7.8-foot-wide mirror.
“This telescope is working fantastically well,” Mark McCaughrean, the European Space Agency’s senior adviser for science and exploration, said today during NASA’s Webb webcast. That raises hopes that the James Webb Space Telescope, also known as JWST, will deliver on its promise to revolutionize the study of phenomena ranging from the origins of the universe to the habitability of alien planets.