HomeCommunityThe James Webb telescope captures an ultra-high-definition image of the early universe.

The James Webb telescope captures an ultra-high-definition image of the early universe.

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The new James Webb Space Telescope’s first color image is out, and it doesn’t disappoint.

Light from distant galaxies that took billions of years to reach us can be seen in the image, making it the most detailed infrared view of the Universe to date.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden was briefed on the image at the White House.

Nasa plans to release more of James Webb’s first images in a worldwide presentation on Tuesday.

Vice President Biden said, “These images will remind the world that America can do big things and remind the American people, especially our children, that there is nothing beyond our capacity.”

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Engineering teams celebrate at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore as the second primary mirror wing of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope unfolds, before beginning the process of latching the mirror wing into place, Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022. When fully latched, the infrared observatory will have completed its unprecedented process of unfolding in space to prepare for science operations. Webb will study every phase of cosmic history—from within our solar system to the most distant observable galaxies in the early universe. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

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These pictures were taken at the very end of the major deployments of the starboard wing of the Webb telescope

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Arianespace’s Ariane 5 rocket launches with NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope onboard, Saturday, Dec. 25, 2021, from the ELA-3 Launch Zone of Europe’s Spaceport at the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana. The James Webb Space Telescope (sometimes called JWST or Webb) is a large infrared telescope with a 21.3 foot (6.5 meter) primary mirror. The observatory will study every phase of cosmic history—from within our solar system to the most distant observable galaxies in the early universe. Photo Credit: (NASA/Chris Gunn)

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Arianespace’s Ariane 5 rocket is seen in this false color infrared exposure as it launches with NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope onboard, Saturday, Dec. 25, 2021, from the ELA-3 Launch Zone of Europe’s Spaceport at the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana. The James Webb Space Telescope (sometimes called JWST or Webb) is a large infrared telescope with a 21.3 foot (6.5 meter) primary mirror. The observatory will study every phase of cosmic history—from within our solar system to the most distant observable galaxies in the early universe. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

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Steam and smoke from Arianespace’s Ariane 5 Vulcain engine, center, and two solid rocket boosters, is seen as it launches with NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope onboard, Saturday, Dec. 25, 2021, from the ELA-3 Launch Zone of Europe’s Spaceport at the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana. The James Webb Space Telescope (sometimes called JWST or Webb) is a large infrared telescope with a 21.3 foot (6.5 meter) primary mirror. The observatory will study every phase of cosmic history—from within our solar system to the most distant observable galaxies in the early universe. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

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Arianespace’s Ariane 5 rocket launches with NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope onboard, Saturday, Dec. 25, 2021, from the ELA-3 Launch Zone of Europe’s Spaceport at the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana. The James Webb Space Telescope (sometimes called JWST or Webb) is a large infrared telescope with a 21.3 foot (6.5 meter) primary mirror. The observatory will study every phase of cosmic history—from within our solar system to the most distant observable galaxies in the early universe. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

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ESA (European Space Agency) Director-General Dr. Josef Aschbacher, left, and NASA Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate Thomas Zurbuchen, right, watch as Arianespace’s Ariane 5 rocket launches with NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope onboard, Saturday, Dec. 25, 2021, from the ELA-3 Launch Zone of Europe’s Spaceport at the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana. The James Webb Space Telescope (sometimes called JWST or Webb) is a large infrared telescope with a 21.3 foot (6.5 meter) primary mirror. The observatory will study every phase of cosmic history—from within our solar system to the most distant observable galaxies in the early universe. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)
Arianespace’s Ariane 5 rocket launches with NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope onboard, Saturday, Dec. 25, 2021, from the ELA-3 Launch Zone of Europe’s Spaceport at the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana. The James Webb Space Telescope (sometimes called JWST or Webb) is a large infrared telescope with a 21.3 foot (6.5 meter) primary mirror. The observatory will study every phase of cosmic history—from within our solar system to the most distant observable galaxies in the early universe. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)
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The clump of galaxies you see is SMACS 0723, located in the constellation Volans in the southern sky.

The distance to the cluster is relatively close, at “only” about 4.6 billion light-years. On the other hand, the massive nature of this cluster has magnified and redirected the light from distant objects.

To use an astronomical analogy, it can be thought of as a gravitational zoom lens.

In this image, the distorted shape (the red arcs) of galaxies that existed only 600 million years after the Big Bang has been detected by Webb’s 6.5m-wide golden mirror and super-sensitive infrared instruments (the Universe is 13.8 billion years old).

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