The very first images and data captured by the James Webb Space Telescope will be unveiled on Tuesday morning, announced the American space agency NASA.
One of the most anticipated sightings is the unveiling of the deepest image ever taken of the Universe, it says. Such a feat promises to surpass the record set by Hubble with its ultra-deep field which revolutionized astronomy in 2004. “NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, a partnership with ESA (European Space Agency) and CSA (Canadian Space Agency), will soon reveal detailed and unprecedented views of the universe, with the upcoming release of its first color images and spectroscopic data », NASA said in a statement. The quality of these observations will reveal, according to the same source, the exceptional scientific capabilities of the instruments of this technological tool.
“We are very excited! People at NASA said the images brought tears to their eyes, so our expectations are really high.”, says Nathalie Ouellette, scientist in charge of communications for James Webb in Canada, and coordinator of the Institute for research on exoplanets (iREx), quoted by the Radio Canada site. The first results will be unveiled at a press conference to be held at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center near Washington.
The event will be followed around the world by astrophysical research teams and astronomy enthusiasts. A few targets from the initial observations earlier this week, including an image of stars and galaxies that gives a glimpse of the power of the space observatory.
Among the images is an exoplanet called WASP-96. Its spectrum should provide essential information on the chemical and molecular elements of its atmosphere. It could also make it possible to understand how a planet was formed, but also to know if it shelters elements revealing the presence of life.