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NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope To Reveal First Full Colour Images In July

NASA wants you to save date in July, the day when the James Webb Space Telescope will release its first full colour images and spectroscopic data.


Image: Twitter/@ESA

NASA wants you to save the date on July 12, the day when the James Webb Space Telescope will release its first full colour images and spectroscopic data. Developed under the collaboration of NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), the world's most powerful observatory is currently undergoing processes of instrument calibration and mirror alignment. According to NASA, Webb's highly-anticipated scientific observations will begin after capturing the first images.

What can we expect in the images?

NASA says that the early images will certainly reflect the inspiration and the themes of Webb's mission, which are studying the early universe, the evolution of galaxies through time, the lifecycle of stars, and other worlds. However, the engineers involved in tuning Webb say that since the telescope is so powerful, predicting how the images will look is very difficult. Joseph DePasquale, Space Telescope Science Institute's (STScI) lead science visuals developer said in a statement, "Of course, there are things we are expecting and hoping to see, but with a new telescope and this new high-resolution infrared data, we just won’t know until we see it".

Notably, the forthcoming images will not be the ones like those recently produced by Webb. While those pictures were just to demonstrate the sharpness of Webb’s infrared view, the new images will be the first to showcase Webb’s full science capabilities. According to NASA, Webb will also present spectroscopic data, which is basically the information stored in the light captured by the telescope. 

"Our goals for Webb’s first images and data are both to showcase the telescope’s powerful instruments and to preview the science mission to come", says Astronomer Klaus Pontoppidan, Webb project scientist at STScI. "They are sure to deliver a long-awaited ‘wow’ for astronomers and the public". Notably, the Webb team has a list of targets through which it will proceed after each one of the telescope's instruments has been calibrated, tested, and given the green light by its science and engineering teams.

Launched on December 25, 2021, the Webb telescope will succeed the Hubble Space Telescope and make unprecedented discoveries and even reveal secrets about the origin of the universe. Tap here to read how. 

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