Saturday, September 23, 2023

Images Show NASA’s Webb Space Telescope Finding What Hubble Didn’t

  • The James Webb Space Telescope captures a greater view of galaxies stars and planets.
  • The telescope uses infrared light and is 100 times more powerful than Hubble’s predecessor.
  • JWST began science operations in July. Scientists emphasize that the universe is only beginning to be revealed.

NASA’s James Webb Space TelescopeSince the summer, the Observatory has been providing amazing views of the cosmos.

Webb was the first of many workhorses for astronomers: the Hubble Space Telescope. Both are space-based telescopes. However, they have many differences. Hubble sees ultraviolet light and visible light, while Webb sees the universe in the infrared spectrum.

Webb is 100x stronger than Hubble, allowing astronomers to see further into space. Webb can take some of the most striking shots yet of our universe, as its first few months of observations have shown.

Hubble cannot see Jupiter’s auroras or storms, but Webb did.

Hubble image of Jupiter (left) JWST image of Jupiter (right)

Hubble image (left) and JWST image (right) of Jupiter.

Hubble, NASA and Jupiter ERS Team images processed by Judy Schmidt

In August, Webb snapped images of Jupiter — the largest planet in our solar system. Webb’s image of the gas giant is sharper than Hubble’s, and shows new details about Jupiter’s storm systems and auroras.

Webb’s image above, on the right, shows Jupiter’s location. Great Red Spot — an enormous storm that has been swirling for centuries — is so bright with reflected sunlight that it appears white.

Webb’s infrared photo also shows Jupiter’s auroras lighting both planet’s poles. Auroras are bright displays of light that are not limited to Earth. According to NASA, Jupiter has one of the strongest auroras. NASA.

On both Earth and Jupiter, auroras occur when charged particles from the sun interact with the magnetic field — known as the magnetosphere — that surrounds a planet. Jupiter’s magnetic fields are about 20,000 times stronger than Earth’s.

Webb discovered thread-like filaments in Orion Nebula that Hubble had not seen

Hubble image of the Orion Nebula, left. JWST image of the Orion Nebula, right.

Hubble image (left) JWST image (right)

NASA, ESA. Massimo Robberto, (STScI. ESA), Hubble Space Telescope Orion Treasury Project Team NASA. ESA. CSA. Data reduction and analysis – PDRs4All ERS Team; graphical Processing S. Fuenmayor

NASA released images the Orion Nebula — a massive star-forming region 1,350 light-years from Earth — that Webb took in September. The nearest stellar nursery is the nebula.

The nebula is obscured by dense clouds of cosmic powder. These structures can be seen from instruments that rely upon visible light, such as Hubble’s image above to the right. By gathering infrared lightWebb is able see through these layers of dust, giving astronomers unparalleled views of the nebula’s various components.

Astronomers believe that nebulae are clouds with vast, tangled thread-like structures called filaments. These filaments feed material like gas to make and fuel stars. Webb’s images provide a great view of these gaseous threads.

Webb revealed hundreds of stars Hubble didn’t see in the epic Pillars of Creation

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope made the Pillars of Creation famous with its first image in 1995, but revisited the scene in 2014 to reveal a sharper, wider view in visible light, shown above at left. A new, near-infrared-light view from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, at right, helps us peer through more of the dust in this star-forming region. The thick, dusty brown pillars are no longer as opaque and many more red stars that are still forming come into view.

The Pillars of Creation as seen by Hubble (left) and JWST (right) in 2022.

NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI; Joseph DePasquale (STScI), Anton M. Koekemoer (STScI), Alyssa Pagan (STScI).

NASA released a October release. snapshot Webb took of the Pillars of Creation — towering columns of gas and dust where stars are born. The vast Eagle Nebula is a cloud of gas and dust 6,500 light-years from the epic stellar nursery.

Hubble also captured the nursery in 1995. Webb’s camera can see through the solid columns of cosmic dust and reveal hundreds of stars that Hubble could not see.

Hubble missed many galaxies, but Webb saw them all.

A side by side collage of the same area taken by the Hubble and the James Webb space telescopes.

Side-by-side collage of the same area taken using the Hubble and James Webb space telescopes.


One of the first images that NASA shared from Webb was a “deep field” image — a long-exposure observation of a region of the sky, which allows the telescope to capture the light of extremely faint, distant objects. According to NASA, the image was captured in less than a day. NASA.

When the image was revealed in July NASA Administrator Bill Nelson saidImagine that you could hold a grain of sand at arm’s length. That would be the speck you see in this picture.

“The deep-field image fills me in with wonder and optimism,” Lisa Kaltenegger is a Cornell University professor of astronomy and director at the Carl Sagan Institute. previously told Insider.

A side-byside comparison of Hubble’s deep field next Webb’s reveals how much sharper, stronger and more precise the new space observatory.

Webb revealed 2 stars within this nebula where Hubble could only see one

side-by-side images of a bubbly nebula with arrows pointing to the stars at the center

Hubble’s image left of the Southern Ring Nebula shows only one light in its center. JWST, however, clearly shows two stars.

The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA/NASA); NASA; ESA, CSA. STScI

This is the Southern Ring Nebula, where a dying star is gradually releasing its atmosphere in successive waves. This creates ever-expanding bubbles full of colorful gas. Scientists knew there were 2 stars at the center of the nebula, but they couldn’t be seen in Hubble’s images.

The Webb picture shows the dying star, which glows because it is surrounded by dust. It is right next to its white companion.

Webb’s eye sees a famous cluster of 5 galaxies that is brighter and clearer.

cluster of five galaxes stephans quintet imaged by hubble on the left and jwst on the right

The galaxy cluster Stephan’s Quintet, as seen by Hubble and JWST (left).


This image shows four of the galaxies. Stephan’s QuintetThey are approximately 300,000 light years apart, locked in a cosmic dance, as each galaxy’s gravitation influences the other.

Webb also shows new galaxies that are far away from Hubble’s view.

Webb found 2 mystery objects in Hubble’s place.

two faint dots one yellow one orange in space

One of the lensed images from MACS0647JD taken by the James Webb Space Telescope.

SCIENCE: NASA, ESA, CSA, Dan Coe (STScI), Rebecca Larson (UT), Yu-Yang Hsiao (JHU) IMAGE PROCESSING: Alyssa Pagan (STScI)

This object was first discovered in deep space by Dan Coe, a researcher at the Space Telescope Science Institute. He used Hubble to find it.

“With Hubble it was just a pale, red dot. It was small, a tiny galaxy within the first 400 million year of the universe. We could see it. We now look at Webb. we’re able to resolve TWO objects“Yes,” Coe stated in an October NASA release.

gif compares hubble and jwst images of the same galaxy cluster highlighting new galaxies behind it

SCIENCE: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, and Tiger Hsiao (Johns Hopkins University) IMAGE PROCESSING: Alyssa Pagan (STScI)

Hubble and Webb are both interested in the early universe. gravitational lensing. This is what happens when a large cluster of distant galaxies becomes so massive that it alters space-time and bends the light from galaxies far away. Mirror images of these galaxies are created, which reflect back at us.

In the above images, the imprint of mystery objects is visible in three spots. On the right, you can see how clear Webb’s images are by breaking out of the three images. They clearly show two objects.

Coe stated in the release that they are actively discussing whether these galaxies are actually two galaxies, or two clumps with stars within a galaxy. Webb is intended to answer these questions, although we don’t know the answers.

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