NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has brought out the most detailed and deepest infrared image of the distant universe to date. This image of galaxy cluster SMACS 0723, known as Webb’s First Deep Field, is rich in detail.
Thousands of galaxies, including the faintest infrared objects ever observed, have appeared in Webb’s view for the first time. This sliver of the vast universe takes up about the size of a grain of sand held at arm’s length by someone on the ground.
This deep field was captured by Webb’s Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam) and is a composite of images taken at different wavelengths over the course of 12.5 hours, achieving depths at infrared wavelengths beyond the Hubble Space Telescope’s deepest fields, which took weeks to capture.
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Significance Of The Image
The image depicts the 4.6 billion year old galaxy cluster SMACS 0723. The combined bulk of this galaxy cluster works as a gravitational lens, amplifying considerably more distant galaxies behind it.
Webb’s NIRCam has brought those faraway galaxies into sharp focus, revealing previously unseen small, dim objects such as star clusters and hazy features.
Researchers will soon learn more about the galaxies’ masses, ages, histories, and compositions as Webb searches for the universe’s earliest galaxies.
This is one of the telescope’s first full-color images. The full suite will be made available on Tuesday, July 12, at 10:30 a.m. EDT, during a live NASA TV broadcast.