The James Webb Space Telescope will produce “spectacular color images” of the cosmos in mid-July. It’s first observations dedicated to its mission of scientific discovery. The successor to Hubble has spent the last five months aligning its instruments in preparation for the big reveal. Scientists deliberately remained coy about where the cameras will be pointed.
NASA and its partners the European Space Agency (ESA) and Canadian Space Agency (CSA) formed a committee to create a ranked list of objects. They now intend to work through.Webb’s team has already released a series of star field images taken for calibration purposes. But the new photographs will be of astrophysics targets which is key to deepening humankind’s understanding of the universe.
These images will actually be shot in infrared and then colorized for public consumption. Visible and ultraviolet light emitted by the very first luminous objects has been stretched by the universe’s expansion and arrives today in the form of infrared. Webb is equipped to detect with unprecedented clarity which gives it an unprecedented view of the first stars and galaxies that formed 13.5 billion years ago.
Webb is expected to cost NASA nearly $10 billion. It is among the most expensive scientific platforms ever built which is comparable to the Large Hadron Collider at CERN and its predecessor telescope, Hubble.Its mission also includes the study of distant planets and to determine their origin, evolution and habitability.