James Webb Space Telescope reveals the birth of the universe: Photos

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Out-of-this-world in photos: Groundbreaking Webb telescope images reveal moments from the birth of the universe

They are called “deep field” images — a technical term that hardly captures the brilliance of what NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has just given astronomers — and all the rest of us on planet Earth. For now at least, we should perhaps call this post “the universe in photos.”

The JWST was launched a little over six months ago, on Christmas Day, and its first offerings are both breathtaking to behold and mind-boggling to consider — a kind of telescopic time machine. What we are looking at are moments from the early days of the universe. Clusters of galaxies, some 4 billion light-years away. For astronomers, these and other images to come will provide a staggering trove of new and valuable information. For the rest of humanity, the photographs offer a reminder of just how small our planet is, and how relatively brief our time here will be, in the cosmic scheme of things.

James Webb Southern Ring Nebula
James Webb first photo of galaxies
  • Tom Nagorski
    Tom Nagorski

    Global Editor

    Tom Nagorski is the global editor at Grid, where he oversees our coverage of global security, U.S.-China relations, migration trends, global economics and U.S. foreign policy.

  • Jake Garcia
    Jake Garcia

    Associate Producer, Multimedia

    Jake Garcia is a documentary filmmaker and multimedia producer for Grid.