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NASA reveals when we’ll see James Webb telescope’s stunning first photos

Published Jun 3rd, 2022 9:01AM EDT
James Webb telescope on orbit of Earth
Image: dimazel / Adobe

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NASA has already released several test images as it gets the James Webb space telescope ready for action. However, the space agency has now revealed when we can expect to see the actual first images from the James Webb telescope.

Here’s when you can see the first images from the James Webb

first James Webb image
The first in-focus James Webb image showcases the power of the telescope’s segmented mirror system. Image source: NASA/STScI

According to a new report from NASA, the space agency plans to release its first full-color images and data on July 12, 2022.

Webb launched from our planet back in December of 2021. Since that launch, it has spent the past few months getting into final position. From there, it had to get all of its instruments calibrated and ready to go.

NASA has already said that it prepares to dive deep into studies of exoplanets like two super Earths. And we’re looking forward to learning more about those planets later this year. But I will admit, I wasn’t expected the first images from James Webb to come so quickly.

The agency’s latest space telescope has been in the works for decades now. And, even choosing what to study first has taken some time—five years to be exact.

“Our goals for Webb’s first images and data are both to showcase the telescope’s powerful instruments and to preview the science mission to come,” Klaus Pontoppidan, a Webb project scientist said in a statement. “They are sure to deliver a long-awaited ‘wow’ for astronomers and the public.”

What comes next?

The James Webb Telescope in spaceImage source: OlivierLaurentPhotos / Adobe

While there is no doubt a ton of excitement around the first images from the James Webb, it’s important to not lose sight of the long term. As NASA’s most powerful space telescope ever, the James Webb has a unique opportunity. And astronomers plan to take full advantage of that opportunity.

NASA has already planned a mission to observe things like black holes, the formation of stars, and even the early recesses of the universe using the telescope. This should all hopefully give us even more understanding and knowledge about our universe.

Beyond the first images from James Webb, though, NASA plans to continue exploring the universe based on a competitive process that teams were able to apply through.

And, as I noted above, the test images we’ve already seen throughout the alignment process are fantastic. They have me extremely excited to see what the telescope is capable of at full calibration and alignment.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.