The curtain finally rises on the sky seen by the James-Webb Space Telescope. After more than twenty-five years of waiting, many postponements and budget slippages, Earthlings have this new piercing eye to scan the universe. On Monday July 11, US President Joe Biden released the first image of JWST (its English acronym), built by NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and their Canadian counterpart (CSA). New footage will be released on Tuesday afternoon.
“A Historic Day”, hailed the arrival of the snapshot on a screen and congratulated Joe Biden. This first picture is a firework of points of light, more or less broad, more or less brilliant, and of various colors, sometimes in fine brilliant arcs lining the black sky. These tens, even hundreds of fragments are the many galaxies that fill the universe. In such a small square space, the size of a grain of sand on the tip of the hand, is unheard of.
If a faint appearance is surprising, this shot testifies to the success of the 6.5-meter-diameter giant mirror telescope, launched in Christmas 2021, now released and fully operational, 1.5 million kilometers from Earth.
“Colleagues told me they had tears in their eyes when they saw this first film. » Johann Richard, astronomer
The tool really proves that it is a powerful time machine. Traces a flickering light that took more than 13 billion years to reach us, all the way back to the origin of the Big Bang. “The telescope’s first mission was to study the dawn of time, the formation of stars and galaxies, a few million years after the Big Bang.”David Elbas, researcher at the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA).
“It’s wonderful! It’s really rich. Colleagues told me they had tears in their eyes when they saw this first film »Astronomer Johann Richard of Lyon’s Center for Astrophysical Research testifies to his delight at this first code selection. “It’s fun to see these first pictures, now we can start dreaming”Nicole Nesvadba, Director of Research at the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) at the Côte d’Azur laboratory, congratulated her. “The level of detail is breathtaking. We will see the universe differently. I look forward to other films »CNRS researcher Olivier Bernay at the Astrophysics and Planetology Research Institute in Toulouse believes so.
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