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Sharpest image ever taken by James Webb is revealed; Look

NASA this week presented the first images of a neighboring galaxy taken by its new super telescope James Webb, built at a value of US$ 10 billion (approximately R$ 51 billion) and launched into space at Christmas last year.

The images were recorded by the new equipment still in the testing phase and portray the Large Magellanic Cloud, a system close to the Milky Way and twenty times smaller than our galaxy.

Why is the image impressive?

The record of the Large Magellanic Cloud, compared to an earlier image from the Spitzer telescope, makes the old portrait look like a blur.

Astronomer Andre Gaspar published the comparison between captures by different telescopes:

The comparison images were all captured with infrared cameras and show the evolution of this type of technology over the last few decades — Spitzer was launched into space in 2003.

The James Webb image shows interstellar gas surrounding the star field, while Spitzer’s record makes it difficult to distinguish with the naked eye what’s beyond the bright spots.

“This is a good scientific example of what Webb can do for us in the coming years,” Christopher Evans, European Space Agency Webb project scientist, explained at a press conference.

He pointed out that the Spitzer telescope was quite useful for identifying larger objects like the Large Magellanic Cloud, but that its images had limited resolution. Webb, on the other hand, according to him, is more powerful.

“The new telescope will give us an incredible new view of processes in a different galaxy for the first time, through dust,” Evans said.

The James Webb is equipped with a technology called Nirspec (Infrared Spectrograph). She can observe 100 points of space at once. To give you an idea, traditional observatories can only observe one point during their use.

Test phase

The images captured by James Webb were taken in a testing phase called “commissioning”. It lasts for two months and is used to test and prepare all the equipment’s scientific instruments.

Only when this phase is over will scientists actually be able to use the telescope to carry out their astronomical research.

James Webb has been in space since late 2021 - Nasa - Nasa

James Webb has been in space since late 2021

Image: NASA

The telescope is now located 1 million kilometers from planet Earth, in an area known as L2, an ideal observation point from which it will be able to record more distant objects and more accurately than the best telescope ever launched. the Hubble.

When it can finally be used for the first surveys, the telescope will produce vibrant images, with excellent resolution and in visible colors. The equipment captures the images in infrared, but translates them into spectrums of light that we can observe with the naked eye.

The James Webb is designed to run at full speed for at least five years. However, because of its perfect launch and the good functioning of the equipment so far, it is expected that it will have enough fuel to remain in its current observation location for more than 20 years.

Images from the launch of the James Webb telescope

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