James Webb Space Telescope Releases First Deep Field Image

The James Webb Space Telescope has released its first full resolution image from one of its scientific instruments, NIRCam. The image is a 12.5 hour exposure of galaxy cluster SMACS 0723, occupying an area in the sky about the size of a grain of sand held at arm’s length.

You can click to enlarge this image, but note that this is a reduced resolution version of the original. To fully appreciate the detail captured in this image, download the full resolution 28.5 Mb image from:


and then view it with an image editing program such as GIMP or Photoshop which allows you to pan and zoom around the image.

The image below compares the same field photographed by the Hubble Space Telescope over a period of 10 days with the Webb image captured in 12 hours.

In the Webb image, note the numerous curved arcs arrayed around the centre. These are distant background galaxies with their light amplified and distorted by the gravitational field of the foreground galaxy cluster.


John you beat me by two hours!

I was planning on posting and had in my calendar to do so.

Truly inspiring image THANKS FOR POSITIVE NEWS !!!


The NASA/Webb people have released four additional images for the “first look” set. Click titles for descriptions and links to download higher resolution files.

Carina Nebula (star-forming region)

Stephan’s Quintet (interacting set of galaxies)

Southern Ring Nebula (planetary nebula)

WASP-96 b (spectrum of transiting exoplanet)


Nasa has revealed that the James Webb Space Telescope has detected signs of water on a planet more than a thousand light years away.

The US space agency said it’s multi-billion dollar space telescope “captured the signature of water” on the giant gas planet WASP 96-b, which orbits a star 1,150 light years away.

“For the first time, we’ve detected evidence of clouds in this exoplanet’s atmosphere,” Nasa tweeted.


To clarify, the news here is that Webb has successfully detected the composition of the atmosphere of a transiting exoplanet, which is one of the goals of its design. The detection of water is not surprising at all, as the planet observed was a gas giant and all of the gas/ice giant planets in our solar system (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune) have water in their atmospheres.

This detection means that Webb may be able to characterise the atmospheres of Earth-like planets and possibly detect atmospheric biosignatures (for example, the presence of out-of-equilibrium gases such as a mixture of oxygen and methane) that may indicate the presence of life. It is, however, much more difficult to observe the composition of the atmosphere of a small rocky planet than a gas giant.


Thank you, John. I would not have gotten that from the Yahoo article. I now see that you hyperlinked to a NASA article with more details about WASP-96 b’s atmosphere in your previous comment.


Here is Scott Manley’s analysis of the initial Webb image and spectra releases. Interestingly, a group of astronomers scooped the Webb team by analysing previously-released Hubble Space Telescope data for the deep field image and identifying multiply-lensed background galaxies prior to release of the Webb image: “HST strong-lensing model for the first JWST galaxy cluster SMACS J0723.3-7327”.


The Woke want to change the name of this telescope because apparently James Webb had a role to play in implementing anti-LBGTQWTFE policies at NASA back in the freaking day when EVERYBODY was shunning homos.