NASA on Tuesday unveiled a new batch of images from its new powerful space telescope, including a foamy blue and orange shot of a dying star. The first image from the $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope was released Monday at the White House—a jumble of distant galaxies that went deeper into the cosmos than humanity has ever seen, per the AP. The additional photos released Tuesday included more cosmic beauty shots. The latest images generally show parts of the universe seen by other telescopes, but Webb’s sheer power, distant location off Earth, and use of the infrared light spectrum showed them in new light. More details at NASA. Among the subjects:
- The Southern Ring Nebula, which is sometimes called “eight-burst.’ About 2,500 light-years away, it shows an expanding cloud of gas surrounding a dying star. A light-year is 5.8 trillion miles.
- Carina Nebula, one of the bright stellar nurseries in the sky, about 7,600 light-years away.
- Five galaxies in a cosmic dance, 290 million light-years away. Stephan’s Quintet was first seen 225 years ago in the constellation Pegasus.
The world’s biggest and most powerful space telescope rocketed away last December from French Guiana in South America. It reached its lookout point 1 million miles from Earth in January. Then the lengthy process began to align the mirrors, get the infrared detectors cold enough to operate and calibrate the science instruments, all protected by a sunshade the size of a tennis court that keeps the telescope cool. (Read more James Webb Space Telescope