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The first glimpse of how the James Webb Space Telescope will change the way people see the universe has arrived.
President Joe Biden has released one of Webb’s first images, and it’s “the deepest and sharpest infrared image of the distant universe to date,” according to NASA.
The image shows SMACS 0723, where a massive group of galaxy clusters act as a magnifying glass for the objects behind them. Called gravitational lensing, this created Webb’s first deep field view of incredibly old and distant, faint galaxies.
The presentation occurred at the White House during a preview event with NASA Administrator Bill Nelson.
“It is the deepest image of our universe that has ever been taken” in infrared, according to Nelson.
Some of these distant galaxies and star clusters have never been seen before. The galaxy cluster is shown as it appeared 4.6 billion years ago.
“This slice of the vast universe covers a patch of sky approximately the size of a grain of sand held at arm’s length by someone on the ground,” according to a NASA release.
The image, taken by Webb’s Near-Infrared Camera, is composed of images taken at different wavelengths of light over the course of 12.5 hours. The Hubble Space Telescope’s deepest fields took weeks to capture.
The rest of the high-resolution color