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12th Jul 2022

NASA shares deepest and sharpest image of the early universe ever taken

Emily Mullen

We are seeing farther than ever before

NASA has officially taken the deepest ever image of space thanks to an expensive new telescope which can view things previously invisible to us. The telescope is so high tech, it is able to see things more than 13 billion years in the past (for context, the universe is approximately 13.8bn years old).

The staggering picture is the first to be taken by the world’s most advanced telescope, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), a new £8.4bn machine that is designed to see objects using infrared light and is twice as powerful as the Hubble.

The infrared view which has captured the most distant image of the universe in human history has been dubbed Webb’s First Deep Field and depicts a galaxy cluster designated SMACS 0723.

As you can see, the image itself is overflowing with twinkling detail and according to NASA scientists, this particular shot alone contains thousands of galaxies, including the faintest objects ever observed in infrared – otherwise invisible to the human eye.

They went on to compare this snapshot of the universe as covering a patch of sky approximately the size of a grain of sand held at arm’s length by someone on the ground.

This incredible insight was made possible with the help of the ESA (European Space Agency) and CSA (Canadian Space Agency). The JWST is located at Northrop Grumman’s Space Park in Redondo Beach, California, first launching back on Christmas Day 2021, and took 20 years to build.

Speaking in an official statement following the publication of these images, NASA administrator Bill Nelson said. “We’re looking back more than 13 billion years… and we’re going further… this is just the first image and since we know the universe is 13.8 billion years old, we’re going back almost to the beginning.

“It is going to be so precise you are going to see whether or not planets are habitable. And when you look at something as big as this we’re going to be able to answer questions that we don’t even know what the questions are yet.”

The image itself was unveiled during a special preview event held at the White House. President Biden said that the staggering new technology has provided us with a “new window into the history of our universe” and this is just “a glimpse at the first light to shine through that window”.

This piece originally appeared on 

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