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What Is The James Webb Space Telescope And When Will First Images Get Released?

Bella Farrelly

| Last updated 

What Is The James Webb Space Telescope And When Will First Images Get Released?

Ten billion dollars and a couple of decades in the making, the new James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is one of the most complex space telescopes constructed to date. 

What's special about the Webb telescope is its ability to detect objects in much longer wavelengths than the Hubble, the first major optical space telescope.

Its upgraded infrared resolution and sensitivity allows it to view celestial objects too old, distant, or faint to have been captured before, promising to fill our critical gap in knowledge between the Big Bang and the earliest galaxies.

In its first decade of operation, the JWST will study the solar system, directly image exoplanets, and photograph the first galaxies.


To showcase the telescope's potential, NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) will soon make public a set of 'first-light' images that it's captured so far: a taster of what we'll see during its expected 20+ years in space. 

"One of those images on July 12 will be the deepest image of our universe that has ever been taken...farther than humanity has ever looked before," said NASA administrator Bill Nelson during a media briefing last week.

When Will The First Images Be Released?

US President Joe Biden is set to unveil one of the first images on July 11 at 5pm ET.


The first-light images will be released gradually on July 12 at 10:30 a.m. EDT (14:30 GMT), when NASA will release the images one by one during a televised broadcast.

You can catch the broadcast on NASA's YouTube, Twitch, and Daily Motion channels. 

The images will also be posted on NASA's Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as they're revealed on the stream.

After the live stream is over, see everything in one place on NASA's website

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: News, Space

Bella Farrelly
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