NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has produced its first full-color image, capturing a glimpse of deep space 13 billion years in the past.
The first-of-its-kind image, revealed on Monday, July 11 during a White House ceremony by President Joe Biden and NASA officials, shows a cluster of galaxies called SMACS 0723 billions of years in the past.
“We’re looking back more than 13 billion years," NASA administrator Bill Nelson said at the White House event. “Light travels at 186,000 miles per second, and that light that you are seeing from one of those little specks, has been traveling for over 13 billion years.”
The image is what is known as a “deep field” observation, with the telescope staring at what NASA described as a “patch of sky approximately the size of a grain of sand held at arm’s length by someone on the ground.”
The White House event is a preview of a more comprehensive reveal of new images scheduled to be released on Tuesday morning. Credit: NASA via Storyful