I feel like I’m having one of those cartoon moments where your eyeballs pop out of your sockets because you’re seeing something so cool. NASA released a test image From the James Webb Space Telescope this week as an aperitif before the main course of which is beauty.
Webb is on a mission to delve deeper into the early universe, search for exoplanets and galaxies, and elicit new secrets from the universe.
The image comes from the Precision Orientation Sensor, or FGS, an instrument with the primary purpose of allowing the telescope to aim precisely. Essentially, it helps Webb achieve his goals and stay on track by giving feedback. The FGS view of stars and galaxies is “a tantalizing glimpse of what science telescopes will reveal in the coming weeks, months, and years,” according to NASA. He said In a statement on Wednesday.
Stars stand out as objects with points radiating from them. Other bright objects are galaxies. It’s the result of 72 exposures that took over 32 hours in mid-May. It represents one of the deepest images of the universe ever taken.
Webb’s team described the photo as “unexpected” and “a charming shot.” in a tweet Wednesday.
The surprise FGS test was part of a successful test during a months-long preparation period before Webb began making scientific observations in earnest. “In this engineering test, the goal was to mount a single star and test how well Webb could control ‘rollover’ – literally, Webb’s ability to roll to one side like an airplane in flight,” NASA said.
That preview is enough to entice scientists and space lovers alike to see the first major release of the image, next week. “The weakest points in this image are exactly the types of faint galaxies that Webb will be studying in his first year of scientific operations,” said Webb operations scientist Jane Rigby.
When you are done enjoying your eyes, be sure to mark your calendar for. It will be a celebration.