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taantula nebula This region, which is only 161,000 light years from Earth, is where hundreds of stars were formed.
Author: Jonathan Amos
Science correspondent for BBC
The $10 billion gift to the world was that. a device that may demonstrate where we fit in the cosmos.

On Christmas Day of last year, the James Webb Space Telescope was officially launched into orbit. The planning, designing, and construction had lasted three decades.

Many questioned whether this instrument could live up to expectations as the illustrious Hubble Space Telescope’s replacement.

We had to wait a few months for the enormous 6.5-meter primary mirror to be unpacked, focussed, and tested, as well as for the other components to be calibrated.

However, everything they had predicted was indeed true. In July, a celebration was staged by the American, European, and Canadian space agencies to unveil the first color photos. Some of the photos that were afterwards published and that you might have missed are what you see on this page.

A $10 billion machine seeking the end of night

Remember that James Webb is an infrared telescope first before anything else. It observes the sky at light wavelengths that are invisible to the human eye.

Its several cameras are used by astronomers to study various parts of the cosmos, including these enormous towers of gas and dust. Hubble frequently targeted the Pillars. If you were to go across this scene at the speed of light, it would take you several years.

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Nebula Carina
Nebula Carina
Source image: NASA/ESA/CSA/STSCI
This location is known as the Cosmic Cliffs. It’s the edge of Carina, another dusty, star-forming nebula, which has a massive, gaseous cavity.

Strong UV radiation and winds from nearby hot, young stars have carved out the crater.

The distance between the two sides of this image is approximately 15 light years. 9.46 trillion kilometers is roughly how many light years there are (5.88 trillion miles).

Galaxy Cartwheel Presentation Grey Line
The renowned Swiss astronomer Fritz Zwicky made the discovery of the massive galaxy to the right in the 1940s. A direct collision with another galaxy gave it a complex cartwheel shape. 145,000 light years or so is about how big it is.

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Planet Neptune NASA/ESA/CSA/STSCI Image Source
James Webb examines more than just the deep Universe. It also explores solar system objects within our own. This gem is Neptune, the eighth planet from the Sun, as seen via its rings. The large “pointed star” above and the numerous little white spots that surround it are both moons. That is Triton, the biggest satellite of Neptune. A byproduct of how James Webb’s mirror system was put together is the spikes.

Read more: James Webb telescope captures ringed Neptune

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Nebula in Orion
Image source: NASA/ESA/CSA/STSCI-PDRS4ALL ERS TEAM, Inner Orion Nebula
One of the most well-known areas of the sky is Orion. It is a nebula that is 1,350 light years away from Earth and is a star-forming region. Here, Webb depicts the Orion Bar, a feature that is a wall of thick gas and dust.

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Image source: Dimorphos, NASA/ESA/CSA/STSCI/C. Thomas/I. WONG
In one of the biggest space stories of the year, Nasa crashed a spacecraft into the asteroid Dimorphos to test the viability of diverting the 160-meter-wide rock’s course. It was a trial run for a plan to protect the Earth from dangerous asteroids. James Webb saw the 1,000 tonnes of debris that the collision had thrown up.

Continue reading: Debris boosts asteroid deflection experiment.

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One of the year’s most intriguing Webb photos was this one. WR stands for Wolf-Rayet. It is a particular kind of large star that is nearing the end of its existence. Huge gaseous winds are released into space by Wolf-Rayets. In this image, winds are being compressed by an invisible companion star to produce dust. The 10 trillion km radius of the arid shells you can see. That is 70,000 times farther than it is from Earth to the Sun.

Read more: James Webb telescope solves mystery of dusty star

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Ghost Galaxy
The Phantom Galaxy, also known as M74 or the Phantom Galaxy, is a spiral galaxy that is well-known for its extravagant spiral arms. It lies almost face-on to us in the constellation Pisces, around 32 million light years from Earth, offering Webb the ideal view of those arms and their structure. The detectors on the telescope are especially adept at detecting all the tiny filaments of gas and dust.

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Photograph by James Webb IMAGE SOURCE,NASA
Image caption, James Webb in space artwork: The telescope should provide 20 years of reliable use.

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