(CNN) – NASA released the first high-resolution color images James Webb Space Telescope Resolution. The first image released, captured by an infrared webcam, consists of images taken with different wavelengths of light over a 12.5-hour period. It took weeks to capture the deepest fields from the Hubble Space Telescope.
31 years of operation of the Hubble telescope have produced a range of unexpected discoveries, and the scientific community sees web and abilities in the same way.
“Webb can look back in time to just after the Big Bang by looking for galaxies so far away that it took light billions of years to get from those galaxies to us,” said Jonathan Gardner, deputy principal scientist on the project. Webb at NASA, during a recent press conference. “Web is bigger than Hubble, so you can see fainter and more distant galaxies.”
The Webb Telescope was launched in December, and it allows researchers to get four times closer to the Big Bang Hubble Space TelescopeAccording to Marcia Ricci, professor of astronomy at the University of Arizona’s Steward Observatory and principal investigator for the near-infrared camera on the Webb Telescope.
Hubble observed the universe 450 million years after the Big Bang.
Each space telescope builds on the knowledge gained from the previous telescope. In Webb’s case, his mirror is about 60 times larger than previous space telescopes, including the retired Spitzer Space Telescope. The observatory is also improving Hubble’s sensitivity and resolution.
The mission, which was originally expected to last 10 years, has enough redundant fuel capacity to operate for 20 years, according to NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Milroy.
This will be the first of many images to come from the Web over the next two decades, promising to fundamentally change the way we understand the universe.
While some of what Webb might reveal was expected, the unknowns are equally exciting to scientists.
“We still don’t know what we don’t know,” said Amber Straw, deputy project scientist for Web Communications at NASA Goddard. “I think it’s true that every time we launch a revolutionary instrument into space, like Hubble, we learn things that totally surprise us, but change our basic understanding of how the universe works.”
With information from Ashley Strickland, CNN
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