Science

Faint distant galaxies spotted by JWST may be closer than

Because of a calibration update for one of the James Webb Space Telescope’s main cameras, research using the first few weeks of data from the observatory may be flawed

Space



15 August 2022

It's springtime and the deployed primary mirror of NASA's James Webb Space Telescope looks like a spring flower in full bloom. In this photo, NASA technicians lifted the telescope using a crane and moved it inside a clean room at NASA?s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Once launched into space, the Webb telescope?s 18-segmented gold mirror is specially designed to capture infrared light from the first galaxies that formed in the early universe, and will help the telescope peer inside dust clouds where stars and planetary systems are forming today. The James Webb Space Telescope is the scientific successor to NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. It will be the most powerful space telescope ever built. Webb is an international project led by NASA with its partners, ESA (European Space Agency) and the Canadian Space Agency.

The James Webb Space Telescope in a clean room at at NASA?s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland

NASA/Desiree Stover

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is performing better than expected, and that might be a problem for some of the early results. An update to our understanding of how one of its cameras is working may mean that many galaxies spotted in the early data are not as distant as they seem.

When JWST sends data back to Earth, it doesn’t come as complete images. Astronomers have to process …


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