AUSTIN (KXAN) — Get ready to see the origins of the universe. This week, NASA will be releasing the first photos taken by the James Webb Space Telescope, the most powerful telescope ever built. The photos are expected to show planets and galaxies located in the oldest parts of the universe.
President Joe Biden released the first color photo from the telescope Monday afternoon. NASA says the stars captured in this photo are 13 billion years old, nearly as old as the universe itself. The rest of the first batch of photos will be released Tuesday morning. KXAN will be speaking with NASA about the photos Tuesday at 4 p.m.
According to NASA, the Webb telescope targeted the Carina Nebula, the Stephan’s Quintet galaxy cluster and the Southern Ring nebula during its first mission. We can expect photos from these parts of space.
What is the James Webb Space Telescope
According to NASA, Webb is the largest infrared telescope ever built. It was launched into space in 2021. What makes the telescope special is that is sees infrared light as opposed to visible light.
Because the telescope sees infrared light and is located in deep space, it can see light from the furthest reaches of the cosmos.
Infrared light travels further than visible light and is capable of passing through objects without becoming distorted.
The telescope is unique in that its primary mirror is made up of 18 separate segments. Each segment can be manipulated to better control the light the telescope is receiving.
NASA says these photos will provide information on which worlds are habitable. This means the worlds may have life or could be the future site of colonization.