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Thread: The Webb Space Telescope - Fully Operational and Providing Stunning Images of the Universe!

  1. #1 The Webb Space Telescope - Fully Operational and Providing Stunning Images of the Universe! 
    Forum Ph.D. Double Helix's Avatar
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    By now most of you have seen the first remarkable images from the Webb Space Telescope. For those who have not, or would like a specific link to them all with expert descriptions, check out the NASA link below (1).

    These are surely some of the most spectacular images from space obtained to date. The detail, particularly in "Webb’s First Deep Field" (SMACS 0723), reveals a remarkable number of extremely distant objects, most if not all are galaxies many billions of years old.

    Some folks looking at these images might wonder how a telescope, which captures light primarily in infrared, can produce images with such striking visible color. How could this be? The means by which this is accomplished is somewhat involved, but one that is used on many images generated from many telescopes. For those interested in how this is done, visit another NASA site (2).

    After a long delay to launch and a much larger price tag, most will agree that it was all worth it in the end. Let's hope that the telescope, estimated to last for 20 years due to a nearly perfect launch, will provide a vast stream of extraordinary science.


    "First Images from the James Webb Space Telescope"

    1. https://www.nasa.gov/webbfirstimages


    "The Truth About Hubble, JWST, and False Color"

    2. https://asd.gsfc.nasa.gov/blueshift/...e-false-color/


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    Images of Jupiter from the Webb Telescope have been released by NASA*. They represent a unique perspective of the gas giant in the IR. Quoting from the link:

    " “The Jupiter images in the narrow-band filters were designed to provide nice images of the entire disk of the planet, but the wealth of additional information about very faint objects (Metis, Thebe, the main ring, hazes) in those images with approximately one-minute exposures was absolutely a very pleasant surprise,” said John Stansberry, observatory scientist and NIRCam commissioning lead at the Space Telescope Science Institute."

    Looks like this telescope has a rather large number of targets it can image and obtain data from, including some asteroids.


    "Webb Images of Jupiter and More Now Available In Commissioning Data"

    * https://blogs.nasa.gov/webb/2022/07/...ssioning-data/


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    A study based out of Cornell University has evaluated early data from Webb's first Deep Field, and calculate that the number of disc galaxies is 10 times greater in the early Universe than predicted by earlier Hubble results. The abstract can be seen in preprint form (1).

    A review of this paper is available in the BBC science section (2).

    Used to read there were hundreds of billions of galaxies in the universe. But others claim the number is in the trillions.

    Does anyone have even a remote clue about how many there really are? And how many are very large, like ours, or very small, the LMC. Seems like a tough nut to crack. How could anyone ever know?

    One imagines that some are still forming, even after 13.8 billion years. There are a lot of massive voids in the Universe which may have very diffuse clouds of gas which could take a long time to form galaxies. A WAG perhaps, but not impossible.


    "Panic! At the Disks: First Rest-frame Optical Observations of Galaxy Structure at z>3 with JWST in the SMACS 0723 Field"

    1. https://arxiv.org/abs/2207.09428


    "'Nasa's James Webb telescope reveals millions of galaxies"

    2. https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-62259492
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  5. #4  
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    I feel like Donald Trump did.

    "STOP the cont!!!
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  6. #5  
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    NASA has issued a list of Science Observations for the Webb Telescope (1).

    From large asteroids and trojans to Deep Fields, there is something there for just about everyone.

    The biggest issue is getting approval for time on the instrument. It would seem that there are quite a few targets, but most are not those of the greatest interest and value.

    My favorite in this list will be the earliest AGNs, which clearly indicate the presence of SMBHs. If primordial black holes formed in the very early universe, they may have generated galaxies much earlier than predicted by other means. It may place the notion of population III stars into question as to their role in SMBH formation.

    Direct collapse primordial black holes would provide a reason to look for the much earlier appearance of AGNs than those currently confirmed (2). This telescope may very well answer some serious questions regarding the time-line on the appearance of galaxies, and how their SMBHs were formed.


    "Approved Programs"

    1. https://www.stsci.edu/jwst/science-e...roved-programs


    "'Direct Collapse' Black Holes May Explain Our Universe's Mysterious Quasars"

    2. https://www.forbes.com/sites/startsw...h=674bc45e71f0
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  7. #6  
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    Some great photos being posted over here
    https://www.physicsforums.com/thread...1#post-6657974
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    Quote Originally Posted by geordief View Post
    Some great photos being posted over here
    https://www.physicsforums.com/thread...1#post-6657974
    A related article covers some of this with more information than provided in that thread *. Although that thread has images not seen in most searches.

    Thanks for the link, was not aware of some of these.


    "Two Weeks In, the Webb Space Telescope Is Reshaping Astronomy"

    * https://www.quantamagazine.org/two-w...nomy-20220725/
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by geordief View Post
    Some great photos being posted over here
    https://www.physicsforums.com/thread...1#post-6657974
    The data from that other forum is actually raw data from the Webb Telescope feed now on the website of The Space Telescope Science Institute. This site includes raw data for a lot of instruments, and is somewhat tricky to work with.

    There is an "easy guide" to do this posted below*. You really need to know specifics like the exact name of the image you want to review, and a number of other aspects. The link below has a youtube video on how to get the raw data downloaded, and a text version. It might be best to try both of them for anyone who wants to try this out. And this may only work with Windows, not sure.

    The text version on accessing the data is pretty clear, but omits an important step. Where it says to 'type in NGC3324' (the Carina nebula raw data set) and press search, etc. You actually need to hit 'enter' after typing NGC3324 or the search button won't light up. The text omits that part, assuming we all should know this. Downloads (just for one session) can take a while as shown by the small rotating 'ring', which must stop before proceeding.

    It is not at all intuitive unless you are really a pro in looking over this. Did a bit of poke-and-hope and managed to find some interesting things. But there is usually no commentary or legends, so you almost have to be an expert on the images to get a lot out of them. It also downloads the data to a drive so you have to go look for it somewhere else. And these data files are very large, some 100s of GBs. Probably best for most of us to wait until they are processed and released, with commentary by the astronomers who are working with them now.

    But anybody with more images, please let us see them!



    "The Easiest Way to Download Raw Data from the James Webb Space Telescope"

    * https://www.astroexploring.com/blog/...ope-in-windows
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  10. #9  
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    Just found this.

    https://webbtelescope.org/news/first-images/gallery

    Looks fairly full of images

    What do you think?

    Any good?
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by geordief View Post
    Just found this.

    https://webbtelescope.org/news/first-images/gallery

    Looks fairly full of images

    What do you think?

    Any good?
    These are great, with commentary.

    But the raw images are of many different objects not shown in the above link. Some kind of gas or dust among star fields. And many are of distant galaxies, etc.

    Go back to that forum link and look at some of those images that are on page 10. It is loaded with a lot of detailed raw image data, etc. They look like screen grabs from the raw data link I have posted above, and even some processed data. A few have some kind of gas or dust among star fields.

    Look at post #337 as that has a lot of unique images of this kind. They may be in the LMC because I recall seeing original MIRI data of this sort when it first became operational. If you can master the Space Telescope Science Institute's website, there will be many cool things to see, and as soon as they are available.
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  12. #11  
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    A recent article in Science is worthy of attention. It covers what has been seen so far by the telescope's deepest images*. Though not yet confirmed, preliminary data indicates the birth of galaxies much sooner than predicted. Probably has to do with massive, direct collapse primordial black holes, which were the earliest seeds to galaxy formation.

    In any event, the article is certainly worth reading :


    "Webb telescope reveals unpredicted bounty of bright galaxies in early universe"

    * https://www.science.org/content/arti...early-universe
    Last edited by Double Helix; August 13th, 2022 at 07:45 PM.
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  13. #12  
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    The Webb Telescope has been peering at Jupiter recently and returned some interesting images of auroras and temperature variables, etc. The data has been generated by the Near-Infrared Camera. Three filters were used to obtain the images shown in the release*.

    It seems that the telescope is going to provide some pretty stunning images, both near and far. Still cannot wait for those early galaxies to be verified. That seems the most significant of all the observations for this telescope as it is the only instrument capable of collecting the most significant data for such distant objects.


    "Webb’s Jupiter Images Showcase Auroras, Hazes"

    * https://blogs.nasa.gov/webb/2022/08/...auroras-hazes/
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  14. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Helix View Post
    The Webb Telescope has been peering at Jupiter recently and returned some interesting images of auroras and temperature variables, etc. The data has been generated by the Near-Infrared Camera. Three filters were used to obtain the images shown in the release*.

    It seems that the telescope is going to provide some pretty stunning images, both near and far. Still cannot wait for those early galaxies to be verified. That seems the most significant of all the observations for this telescope as it is the only instrument capable of collecting the most significant data for such distant objects.


    "Webb’s Jupiter Images Showcase Auroras, Hazes"

    * https://blogs.nasa.gov/webb/2022/08/...auroras-hazes/
    So beautiful.

    Love the smudgy galaxies in the background.
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  15. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by geordief View Post
    So beautiful.
    With much more to come, to be sure. And Webb is not just about imaging, it is also about chemical compositions in atmospheres, and some new data is interesting in this respect.

    The telescope has observed CO2 in the atmosphere of an exoplanet, WASP-39b*. This planet is a gas giant about the mass of Saturn, and located 700 lys from Earth. Previous studies of the planet has confirmed water vapor, sodium, and potassium, and now Webb has confirmed CO2.

    Quoting from the link below:

    "The research team used Webb’s Near-Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec) for its observations of WASP-39b. In the resulting spectrum of the exoplanet’s atmosphere, a small hill between 4.1 and 4.6 microns presents the first clear, detailed evidence for carbon dioxide ever detected in a planet outside the solar system."

    So it appears that the telescope is going to make some significant contributions to our understanding of exoplanets, and so many other things. It is rather exciting to see such data, and it would be really great if there were a half dozen of these telescopes out there since most of us will be wanting more and more, as it is only now trickling in. It seems that patience is a virtue that is essential in astronomy.


    "NASA’s Webb Detects Carbon Dioxide in Exoplanet Atmosphere"

    * https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard...net-atmosphere
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    The telescope has imaged its first exoplanet, HIP 65426 b, a gas giant about 385 lys distant (1,2,3).

    Data has been collected by both the NIRCam and MIRI instruments for various IR wavelengths. Spectral data is still being analyzed and will likely take some time since a gas giant would be expected to have some degree of chemical variability.

    While it is anticipated that Webb will provide better imagining in the IR, its ability to block the light from a distant star with its coronagraph provides additional capability. Many more of these exoplanets are to imaged, to be sure. Perhaps they will see a rocky exoplanet that looks like a pale blue dot!


    "NASA’s Webb Takes Its First-Ever Direct Image of Distant World"

    1. https://blogs.nasa.gov/webb/2022/09/...distant-world/


    "Webb telescope wows with first image of an exoplanet"

    2 https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-022-02807-4


    Exoplanet HIP 65426 b

    3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HIP_65426_b
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    The latest image from the telescope is a fabulous star cluster in the LMC's Tarantula Nebula*.

    It showcases star cluster NGC 2070's central grouping known as R136. It is rather spectacular, as usual.


    "Tarantula Stars R136 from Webb "

    * https://science.nasa.gov/tarantula-stars-r136-webb
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    The telescope has been looking at Mars this month and the latest report from NASA indicates numerous surface features and atmospheric details have been resolved*.

    While some of this was already known, unknown aspects of Mars are sure to be revealed. It certainly is a good dry run for looking at other rocky planets outside our solar system.


    "Mars Is Mighty in First Webb Observations of Red Planet"

    * https://blogs.nasa.gov/webb/2022/09/...of-red-planet/
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    The telescope is now providing images of Neptune, with excellent resolution of its rings, and other features :


    "New Webb Image Captures Clearest View of Neptune’s Rings in Decades"

    https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard...ngs-in-decades
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  20. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Helix View Post
    The telescope is now providing images of Neptune, with excellent resolution of its rings, and other features :


    "New Webb Image Captures Clearest View of Neptune’s Rings in Decades"

    https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard...ngs-in-decades
    Brilliant!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by geordief View Post
    Brilliant!!
    There is also a Webb wide-field view of Neptune found on the ESA site*

    It is pretty brilliant too, with all the distant galaxies included!


    "Neptune Wide-Field (NIRCam Image)"

    * https://esawebb.org/images/weic2214e/
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    A group from the University of Toronto and other universities has been looking at the Webb Deep Field image SMACS 0723. It appears they have found direct evidence that some, if not all globular clusters, which appear in many galaxies, likely formed shortly after the BB (1). While this has also been suggested from other studies of these clusters, this may offer the first real data to demonstrate these are indeed composed of extremely ancient stars.

    An overview of this research can be found in the BBC science section (2).

    A high resolution image of this Webb Deep Field can be seen at the NASA site (3). Double-clicking on the image will provide maximum image size and scrolling allows one to investigate various areas of the field based on the first, smaller version. There are a lot of very ancient galaxies in this image.



    "The Sparkler: Evolved High-redshift Globular Cluster Candidates Captured by JWST"

    1. https://iopscience.iop.org/article/1...213/ac90ca/pdf


    'Shiny, sparkly object' in James Webb space image"

    2. https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-63090818


    "NASA’s Webb Delivers Deepest Infrared Image of Universe Yet"

    3. https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/g...f-universe-yet
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  23. #22  
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    One of the latest images from the Webb telescope is a pair of galaxies, using Hubble data for a more complete view. The two unique aspects of the image is that one is an elliptical galaxy and the other a spiral. The field around the pair contains many distant galaxies. Quite impressive.


    "Webb, Hubble Team Up to Trace Interstellar Dust Within a Galactic Pair "

    * https://webbtelescope.org/contents/e...ctic-pair.html
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