SCIENCE

NASA’s new telescope’s test image of star gets photobombed by 1,000s of galaxies

Mar 16, 2022, 4:39 PM | Updated: Jun 13, 2022, 3:37 pm
A test image from NASA's James Webb Space Telescope. While the purpose of this image was to focus o...
A test image from NASA's James Webb Space Telescope. While the purpose of this image was to focus on the bright star at the center for alignment evaluation, Webb's optics and NIRCam are so sensitive that the galaxies and stars seen in the background show up. (NASA/STSci)
(NASA/STSci)

NASA’s new space telescope has gazed into the distant universe and shown perfect vision: a spiky image of a faraway star photobombed by thousands of ancient galaxies.

The image released Wednesday from the James Webb Space Telescope is a test shot — not an official science observation — to see how its 18 hexagonal mirrors worked together for a single coordinated image taken 1 million miles (1.6 million kilometers) away from Earth. Officials said it worked better than expected.

Last month, NASA looked at a much closer star with 18 separate images from its mirror segments.

Scientists said they were giddy as they watched the latest test photos arrive. NASA’s test image was aimed at a star 100 times fainter than the human eye can see — 2,000 light-years away. A light-year is nearly 6 trillion miles (9.7 trillion kilometers).

The shape of Webb’s mirrors and its filters made the shimmering star look more red and spiky but the background really stole the show.

“You can’t help but see those thousands of galaxies behind it, really gorgeous,” said Jane Rigby, Webb operations project scientist.
Those galaxies are several billions of years old. Eventually, scientists hope Webb will see so faraway and back in time that it will only be “a couple hundred million years after the Big Bang,” she said.

The first science images won’t come until late June or early July.

The $10 billion Webb — successor to the nearly 32-year-old Hubble Space Telescope — blasted off from South America in December and reached its designated perch in January.
___
The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Science

CAPSTONE revealed in lunar Sunrise...
The Associated Press

NASA: Contact lost with spacecraft on way to test moon orbit

NASA said Tuesday it has lost contact with a $32.7 million spacecraft headed to the moon to test out a lopsided lunar orbit, but agency engineers are hopeful they can fix the problem.
2 days ago
NASA has carried out its first commercial spaceport launch outside the United States. (Equatorial L...
Kathleen Magramo, CNN

NASA launches first rocket from Australian space center

NASA has successfully launched a rocket from Australia's remote Northern Territory, making history as the agency's first commercial spaceport launch outside the United States.
10 days ago
NASA's first spacecraft designed to study a metallic asteroid won't be launching this year as plann...
Ashley Strickland, CNN

NASA’s Psyche mission to an unexplored metal world comes to a halt

NASA's first spacecraft designed to study a metallic asteroid won't be launching this year as planned, according to an announcement made by the agency on Friday.
13 days ago
Tombstones in what's now Kyrgyzstan have revealed details about the origins of the Black Death, the...
Katie Hunt, CNN

DNA analysis reveals source of Black Death

Tombstones in what's now Kyrgyzstan have revealed tantalizing details about the origins of the Black Death, the world's most devastating plague outbreak that is estimated to have killed half of Europe's population in the space of seven years during the Middle Ages.
22 days ago
A strawberry full moon, pictured here, in Cape Sounion, Greece, on June 2021 will appear full from ...
Rachel Fadem and Ashley Strickland, CNN

June’s strawberry moon will light up the sky this week

June's full moon, the strawberry moon, will illuminate the sky this week.
24 days ago
Courtesy Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine...
Kristen Rogers, CNN

When we’ll be able to 3D-print organs and who will be able to afford them

What if doctors could just print a kidney, using cells from the patient, instead of having to find a donor match and hope the patient's body doesn't reject the transplanted kidney?
27 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Lighting Design

Check out these stunning lamps with stained glass shades

Lamps with stained glass shades are statement pieces that are more than simply aesthetic. They also meet a functional requirement: to light up a room.
Address Bar of internet browser shows internet access...
AARP Utah

Utah Voters 50+ Support Increased Access to Internet

The AARP surveyed Utah voters aged 50 plus about internet access and if they support the expansion of broadband, especially in rural areas currently lacking it.
hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...
1-800-GOT-JUNK?

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
NASA’s new telescope’s test image of star gets photobombed by 1,000s of galaxies