A few minutes every morning is all you need.
Stay up to date on the world's Headlines and Human Stories. It's fun, it's factual, it's fluff-free.
NASA just released the most detailed photos we’ve ever seen of the universe taken from its newly in-use James Webb Space Telescope (or JWST for short). The pictures released so far show galaxies and nebulae hundreds of millions of light-years away, which means that we’re able to literally look into the past and see those galaxies forming shortly after the creation of the universe itself.
Needless to say, this is an expensive camera.
Like, about US$10 billion expensive. The telescope took the better part of two decades to develop, and some astronomers worried it might never launch just because of how technically complicated it was – and perhaps they were traumatized by the sheer number of times it was supposed to launch and then didn’t.
But now that it’s up there (or, more accurately, out there, considering it’s a million miles away from Earth right now), it can show us some things we haven’t seen for ourselves yet. The ability to look so far back and with such accuracy is new, meaning scientists will be able to examine what kinds of things happened right after the Big Bang.
And what’s more, they can tap into Mother Nature for some help, too. For example, scientists figured out how to use black holes – which bend space and time, and therefore, light – as essentially telescopes into what’s behind them, which means that not only will some of the photos we see be through a human-made telescope but also a natural one as well.
This camera can do a lot, and the images we’re going to get from it will teach us more about the universe we live in.