First Images From the James Webb Space Telescope Released

Photo: USA Today

The Facts

  • The first image from NASA's $10B James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), shared Mon. by US Pres. Biden, shows the deepest view of the cosmos ever captured, with thousands of galaxies in unprecedented resolution.

  • Also released were vivid images of the Carina Nebula, a group of five galaxies known as Stephan's Quintet, the Southern Ring Nebula, and an exoplanet around a distant star which has indications of water in its atmosphere.

The Spin

Narrative A

They're finally here! It's a historic day for science and technology when all people can experience the first gorgeous images from the JWST, after decades of waiting. The telescope will fundamentally change our understanding of the universe. This is a deeply needed moment for America and all of humanity.

Narrative B

This is a massive achievement but was also a massive risk. An $11B investment into a single platform is a tremendous gamble - if anything should ever happen to the JWST it could set astronomy back by a generation. NASA needs to find more cost-effective, safe, and innovative ways to spur future innovation in the astrophysics field.

Nerd narrative

There's a 50% chance that the first discovery of extraterrestrial life will happen by 2077, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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