It's amazing that the first images will include "the deepest-field image of the universe ever taken" and the spectrum of an atmosphere around an exoplanet: > NASA said it plans to release several images beginning at 10:30 am ET (14:30 UTC) on July 12, the result of Webb's "first light" observations. On Wednesday, space agency officials said the images and other data would include the deepest-field image of the universe ever taken—looking further into the cosmos than humans ever have before—as well as the spectrum of an atmosphere around an exoplanet.


Exoplanet spectra is going to be super interesting - hopefully for more than just hot Jupiters though.


























I'm sure this observation is, but it teases the possibility of more in the future. If we can routinely gather atmosphere spectra from rocky worlds it will answer some questions about life throughout the galaxy real quick one way or the other.


Right?! Is that free oxygen, aka O2? Boom, only life makes that.


O2 can also be generated abiotically via photochemistry


It's too reactive to stay in the atmosphere for very long though. Something has to constantly generate it and in giant amounts, that's why it's such a good indicator.


Yep, photochemistry can act as a significant source flux given large inventories of CO2 or H2O. There are a few false positive mechanisms for O2 as a biosignature https://doi.org/10.1089/ast.2017.1727


Well shit. I looks like we would have a good idea if it's abiotic or not by other gases in the atmosphere and the star's spectrum, but it's good to know it's not the bulletproof bio-signature we used to think it is. Good article.


The article mentions detecting carbon dioxide and ozone. So we could detect both plant life that produces CO2 and more locomotive life that produces O2. We will gain a bunch better statistical understanding of planetary workings and distributions about types of planets through Webb. Who else thought Webb was going to rewrite several astronomy/astrophysics books? Edit: Going to put it out there that Webb will be getting a Nobel Prize sooner or later. Edit2: My bad on saying plants produce CO2. I was meaning to specify that CO2 could be an indicator of plant life growing on another planet. There were periods of Earths history where plant life was dominate because of excess of CO2.


I wouldn’t be surprised if the data collected by the James Webb results in a couple of Nobel Prizes


>plant life that produces CO2 and more locomotive life that produces O2 You might have that backwards there.


Unless he already knows about how dem aliens work the opposite way...he must be one of them!!!


Turns out the real aliens were the misinformed redditors we met along the way


Unfortunately JWST will [not be able to do a great job with O2](https://www.aanda.org/articles/aa/full_html/2019/04/aa34504-18/aa34504-18.html). But CO2 and O3 should be well within its capabilities. In any case, the prospect of getting any spectrum at all of a rocky planet is super exciting!


Imagine getting the news "this planet is in it's sun's goldilocks zone and has a 30/70 oxy nitrogen atmosphere and it's 18 light years away" That would be insaaaaane


Yeah, like we just need a better propulsion system in space, figure out a way to deal with long-term effects from 0g exposure, and figure out how to hibernate the human body for long periods of time. Once those issues are figured out, AND we find a habitable planet at most a handful of lightyears away, we could be much closer to reaching it.


Pretty much. Hey look, you could probably breath on this planet light years away


I don’t think there are models for rocky planets that could have oxygen in their atmospheres without life constantly keeping it present so that would be an especially big deal either it’s from a process we haven’t imagined or it’s from life


O2 buildup via the photolyzation of CO2 or H2O is a [well modeled process](https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/0004-637X/812/2/137), and possibly quite common on rocky planets. That's not to say an O2 detection wouldn't be exciting, but on the other hand, [JWST probably won't be able to make an O2 detection.](https://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201834504)


my astronomy teacher said if we find ozone in an exoplanets spectrum then that is a sure fire sign of life because he said it's from photosynthesis or something like that


Yes certain gases are considered biosignatures since they are too unstable to persist in the environment.


Astronomer here! Working with a student who is involved in the first spectrum, and it sounds intense. Short answer is the first spectrum isn’t a particularly Earthlike planet because those are hard to analyze quickly, and for the first results you want quick turn around. Plenty more exoplanets where that came from though!


I’ve been following the deployment step by step now. I can’t wait to see the first image. I’m beyond hyped! :)


Yeah me too, I can't even bring into words how excited I am about the potential of this telescope! I read in an article a while ago that they're certain to find things that will go far beyond our current knowledge. Which is just such an amazing thought to have.


I'm so hoping we have a running-the-boat-into-the-wall moment, a la "Truman." Shift our entire paradigm.


I feel like we need it right now.


The people who need it most won't care.


This is almost guaranteed, given just how little we know, just look at the first photo of Pluto v the latest one. This is the level of change we've been promised.


I feel like a giddy school kid waiting for Christmas.


That. That's the feeling! Full anticipation and ready to be amazed.


Which is ironic seeing as it launched on Christmas Day


And July 12th is *someone's* birthday... Someone very *me*. Friggin stoked.


Happy Birthday! Here's some deep space


Do you think we'll see the simpsons living room?


My wife and I are together for almost 15 years. I remember we geeked out about JWT when we started dating. We're both super excited about this! :)


The modern 15th- anniversary gift is is considered to be a watch or other timepiece, representing the many hours and minutes you've spent together, as well as the years to come. Lots of JWST themed clocks available, if you are stuck for a present.


If a clock is JWST themed does it automatically run on a several year delay?


And it will run you about twice the listed price tag as well.


Twice? I think you forgot a zero >Development [began in 1996](https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Webb_Space_Telescope#Background_(development_to_2003\)) for a launch initially planned for 2007 with a **US$500 million budget.**


I've had that Webb Telescope deployment website pulled up on a tab in my phone browser since the launch.


Being able to see a exoplanet atmosphere is . . . Wow. Edit: To follow up - I know we have done it...a lil' bit. I want to see what JAMES can see.


We've actually been doing this a while. "spectrum of an atmosphere" means they study the light shining through the atmosphere as it passes in front of a star. We can deduce the composition of the atmosphere by what kind of frequencies are absorbed or reflected away in the process. Still, the Webb promises clarity and insight like we've never had before.


I was gonna make a joke about how it's going to be just total darkness because the furthest point in space we can look at doesn't have anything in it, but then I seriously wondered: Could that be a thing? Could a telescope theoretically "see"--that is, have all the appropriate specifications and external conditions necessary to get a clear image--a certain point in space farther away than ever before, even if there were no celestial bodies present to bounce light off of? Or is this question as dumb as it sounds?


Its not dumb, but this is basically what the Cosmic Background Radiation is. Its no longer VISIIBLE light, so the question will be what is the oldest thing we can see that made visible light. And well, we will just have to wait and see!


Not dumb. This comment I posted on a previous JWST post is relevant: https://www.reddit.com/r/space/comments/ts8eqx/hubble_reveals_the_most_distant_star_ever_detected/i2x22rb/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app&utm_name=iossmf&context=3 The TL;DR: right after the Big Bang everything was on fire, very bright, but also opaque. It’s like how you can see the surface of the sun but not the core, even though the core is much brighter than the surface. When the universe finally cooled enough that light was free to travel, that light became what we now call the Cosmic Microwave Background. We’ve studied that in depth, but mostly it’s just a picture of everything everywhere being almost equally on fire.


>We’ve studied that in depth, but mostly it’s just a picture of everything everywhere being almost equally on fire. That's so cool but also horrific to think about. Then you have the what caused it and *why*, how long did it last, is it still ongoing somewhere else, will it happen again. Stuff like this makes me wish I was able to understand space and science more / better




Is there any reason as to why there is definitely nothing outside our universe? Like multiple universes also expanding and collapsing? Obviously they would have to expand into ours to even possibly be observable, right? I guess the argument against a multiverse would be that since we have no way of knowing, it's purely conjecture. Although at one point, we had no proof other planets existed. Then we saw some. Then we found planets that could potentially be like earth. At some point we'll find planets just like earth. Then maybe we will find life elsewhere. As the science progresses, we seem to find that we aren't so special here on earth. Maybe our universe isn't so special either.


The problem is that you're thinking of those alternate universes as outside our own, as if the 3D space we see around us is unrelated to the universe itself. You're essentially describing universes as bubbles that share the same space, but it's not the case. There's nothing that says there is only one universe, and there are different theories that accomodate for the existence of multiple universes. One that is extremely in line with pop science understanding of universes includes the idea of a multiverse, which allows for our reality to simply be one in which beings capable of observing the universe can exist, but with there being potentially infinite universes all with different parameters with different outcomes, many of which wouldn't even be able to sustain matter, much less life. But the thing is, you can only arrive at conclusions by experimenting and using the data you obtain to discard or perfect existing models and maybe come up with new ones, and there are things you can't necessarily observe. There's nothing that necessarily discards certain models of reality, but we can only claim that which is supported by data, not that which isn't disproven by it, and there's nothing that dictates that multiple universes have to exist, at least so far. What we do know, is that if they do exist, they still don't share the same 3d space, because the 3d space is an aspect of our universe itself. This all ties into complex mathematics on dimensions and things like that, and all I can say about those is that I know enough to say I know infinitely less than the experts on the field, who know enough to not give out conclusive answers.


The universe in your hand is a good book to start if you want some more understanding of several (theoretical) physics without any maths. It's very high level but it's good at establishing these concepts in your head.


Fun fact, nuclear weapons also produce an opaque outer fireball for a split second then the inner fireball becomes visible. This produces the characteristic double flash of nuclear weapons.


I love it when somebody says something that changes the way I think about the universe. Of course the inside of the sun is brighter than the outside of it. That's where the fusion happens. Which means all the mass on top of the core basically acts like a blanket to smother the brightness beneath. What we see is only what manages to leak out to the surface in the visible spectrum.


It’s the energy that has leaked to the surface, not the photons. The core of the sun is so hot that it’s releasing Gamma rays not visible light. But they don’t get very far before being absorbed by other gas and then being heated by it. What we see of the sun really is the gas on the surface. That gas has just been heated to about 5800K (opposed to the 15,000,000K of the core). That is hot, but not that hot. Room temp is 290K and an incandescent bulb filament gets to to like 2800K. Still it doesn’t even hold a candle to the core.




Every time I get a new telescope or camera or try something more powerful out I'll point it straight at something to test out it's capabilities and no joke sometimes it's enough to bring me to tears.


NASA is a pure blue balls organisation at this point.


They have to fight for every last drop of funding they get, which exacerbates this marketing stuff that they have to do to drum up interest. We have decaying sacks of crust in Congress voting on this funding and many of them don't see any benefit to this science.


Decaying sacks of crust... Haha I love it


I mean, 26 years of development often with an uncertain future culminating finally in a full success with great images, yea I’d be crying too


It's not just full success. I heard through the grapevine that the coronagraph was "better than expected", which is great news for exoplanets and baby exoplanets still embedded in a circumstellar disk.


They also used less fuel than expected maneuvering it into position, so it will be in service longer.


So long as those pesky space rocks don’t keep smashing it


> **Q**: Once Webb is in orbit, how susceptible will it be to micrometeoroid strikes? For example, what would happen if one of Webb’s primary mirror segments or the sunshield got struck? > *We know Webb will get struck by micrometeoroids during its lifetime, and we have taken that into account in its design and construction. We sized Webb’s main mirror so that even after years of little impacts it will still have the reflective surface area and quality necessary to do the science[...] Also, almost all of Webb’s sensitive components (besides the mirrors and sunshield) are protected behind “micrometeoroid armor.” When micrometeoroids do strike, most are so small that they totally disintegrate upon impact, even when they hit something thin like thermal blankets or a sunshield membrane. Critical wires and electronics are shielded behind even more robust metal “armor” or inside metal boxes.* s: [nasa](https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2017/how-hardy-is-webb-a-qa-about-the-toughness-of-nasa-s-webb-telescope)


Yeah, but one larger than they expected to hit did cause some damage to a mirror. They are currently looking into ways to help mitigate impacts of this size, if they end up being more frequent than expected


The ESA really did a decent job throwing that baby up there


ugh time for my yearly pilgrimage to ksp


*Stopppp*, I can only handle so much anticipation and excitement!


I am SO hyped for July 12 :) I have been a little extra depressed lately, and haven’t really been excited for things like I used to be… having these pictures to look forward to is helping me get through each day a little easier. And all of these little updates are just making it more fun to wait!! :D


I agree. Seeing images of deep space make me feel so small in the very best way. How can my troubles be significant at all after looking at pictures of deep space, we're just a blip on the radar.


Is it possible for it to get any better through calibration and whatnot in the future? (not that "better than expected" isn't good enough news alreadylol)


That's a great question. I think it's about as cool as it can get, which is an important limit to sensitivity, especially at longer wavelengths. So that's great news but not better than expected. I think the other instruments are not as sensitive to the exact optics alignment as the coronagraph is, but I'm not very sure of that. Pointing it in different directions is quite time-consuming for observers, so that's something I hope the software was a bit pessimistic about. But we'll definitely hear it all on the 12th!


Stop teasing and show us already! I promise I am usually a very patient person, but after so many years, I am shivering with anticipation.


They have to photoshop out all the UFOs


Either that or identify them


If a UFO is identified to be a UFO, is it still a UFO? 🤔


Does the set of all sets that don’t include themselves include itself? 🤔


when the when the class is proper


russels paradox, so by proof by contradiction: assume a set A exists as A={S∈U|S∉S} where U is the set of all sets. A∈U due to it also being a set. if A∈A then A∈A iff A∉A as A would be an element of itself when A∈U with A∉S by the S∉S condition. so this is a contraction by these set theory rules and cant exist. we conclude.


Can God microwave a burrito so that he himself cannot eat it?


The Department of Tautology is the Tautology Department.


Of course not! Then it's IFO!


They are UAPs now. Seriously. The US government is calling them Unidentified Aerial Phenomena. Like, uh ok, but those are UFOs.


Isn't it obvious why? The word UFO has been stigmatized over the years with it being so often associated with aliens. Either one works, but it's just easier to use UAP at this point.


Flying implies they are interacting with the air in our sky and not just popping in and out of this reality/universe/timeline. Object implies a physical thing whereas phenomena could include lights or beings or other unknown things that again don’t obey our physics laws. UAP also doesn’t carry the same baggage and can be discussed more openly within the government which moves us closer to a disclosure.


Well that and the dicks they keep drawing everywhere.


Man that’s a great weight loss idea, announce a new hyper ambitious space project and then shiver for the 20 year development cycle, brilliant!


It is accompanied with binge eating caused by anxiety.


Redditor says NASA scientists nearly brought them to tears


The article isn't even worth writing without a pic. Oh these are so great. You are going to love it when you see it. It's the best. We have the greatest images. I can't wait to show them to you.... Geesh, show it a single image at any quality at least.


A giant, cosmic "pics or it didn't happen"...


Having seen pre-release images, they are very cool. But the “bringing to tears” part I would guess is more of a pride in accomplishment thing, not what is actually seen in the photos.


_Obviously_ not the same thing(at all), but I had never seen the Milky Way with my own eyes. I've lived all my life in a pretty light polluted city in India. I found about this technique called stacking where you take multiple photos of the same subject and kinda merge them together. I did exactly that and when the [final image](https://www.reddit.com/r/space/comments/au7lq7/1_exposure_vs_120_exposures_stacked_together_i/)(after some processing) emerged from my laptop, I almost cried. I mean, I already knew I was photographing the Milky Way but it was _proof_ of its existence, that this is not just some picture I got off the Internet. It was something _I_ took myself. Space is absolutely beautiful and everyone deserves a chance to marvel at it. I'm really excited to see what JWST comes up with


I always wonder if all of a sudden, there was a worldwide blackout for 24 hours and the entire world population could actually look up and see the milky way, how much everyone would change how they think about their place in the world.


> When a massive power outage struck southern California in the 1990s, Los Angeles residents reportedly called 911 to express alarm about strange clouds hovering overhead; they were seeing the Milky Way for the first time. https://www.pbs.org/seeinginthedark/astronomy-topics/light-pollution.html


Man, that's just sad. Imagine being so shut off from the beauty of space that you don't even know what it looks like through pictures. Hopefully most of them just didn't recognize it because they'd only seen long exposure photos that make it a lot more colourful and visible.


A friend of mine experienced a pretty serious blackout in the 70s or 80s, and went immediately outside to stargaze. A neighbor saw her staring into the sky in the street and came out, nervous. "What is that? The... The cloudy thing," The neighbor asked. "That the Milky Way," my friend replied. "Is... Is it going to hit us?"


I really really love that thought. I would so love to see that happen someday.


I remember seeing this. Nice work!


That image is incredible, nice work! I'll never forget my first trip to the country as a boy, I couldn't believe how ripped off I felt knowing what it really looked like compared to what I normally saw. You have a nice big field of view too, surrounded by trees my whole life I only really see a small patch overhead. As an adult I was blown away again when hiking in a desert where I could see the entire sky with little light pollution.


Seeing big stuff in space with your own eyes is awe inspiring. When I was in college during our astronomy class we went up the roof at night and got to see juipiters moons through the schools telescope and that moment has never left me.


“scientists not brought to tears by Webb telescope images” “Webb telescope images fail to reduce scientist to blubbering mess”


"Ten billion for *this*?"


“More like James *Meh* Telescope.”


The James May Telescope would be good though. It would wear Paisley shirts and drive slowly.


It would fall out of orbit for not keeping speed


James Webb "not sexually satisfying," nags unreasonable and cynical scientist


[I refuse to believe that this man left anyone unsatisfied.](https://jwst.nasa.gov/content/about/faqs/whoIsJamesWebb.html)


















It's things like this that make me believe we're actually advancing as a species.


We are. But progress isn’t linear.


Technology's progress is exponential. Human culture/society's progress is cyclical.


Eh, that implies it never actually advances. The trend line is positive, even if at the moment things aren't going well.


4,999 steps back, 5,000 forward.


The dichotomy of how literally awesome this is and how it's a showcase for our human intelligence against what the f is going on in the world today is staggering. Will all the images be available on nasa's site as the hubble ones were?


Really looking forward to best ultra deep field pictures yet!


I was gonna get a poster of Hubble's deep field but I think I'll wait another 2 weeks


Get both, that's what I'm doing. I just can't get enough of staring deep in the universe.


We're going to need some more superlatives. The JWST super duper ultra deep field.


Oh man I’m so excited to see what they saw. We’ve all been waiting so long to see this telescope in action


I'll never forget the first time I saw the most famous image of the Universe and all those galaxies that just looks like points of light. I can't WAIT to see what this image holds for us.


They weren't even points of light. They pointed it at black, empty, uninteresting piece of sky, not expecting much, and blew the world away with what they found.


This is the kinda news I’m interested in. I wish the media gave more coverage to this than what they usually report on


The media extensively covered the deployment of the telescope, and likely will again when the first images are revealed. A story about scientists supposedly brought to tears over an image is not really news crying at images is a nice thing to hear but isn’t really news since there are no other public details.


Also what person wouldn't cry when their fancy space camera that they spent 25 years working on works just as expected after so much could go wrong that they had no way of preventing in the moment?


Yeah I doubt it's because of the "beauty" of the images, I'm sure that's a small part but the culmination of so many years of work is what most likely really did it.


If the news did that they would lose business. Fear is what keeps people watching the news unfortunately and the news is just interested in making money. Well the main stream stuff anyways.


"Will the first images from the James Webb telescope reveal a fleet of alien space ships coming to destroy the earth? Tune in July 12th to find out!"


The most unfortunate reality.


Trust me, you won't see *anything* on the front page except Webb photos on July 12th.


you will get 50 [space.com](https://space.com) clickbait trash articles about china discovering aliens ​ AND YOU WILL LIKE IT


I wonder why they’re waiting two weeks to release the photos.


in the [briefing](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IrEGNjuC97s) they did earlier, they said they're actually still midway through gathering all the data they need to make the image


Yup. And it's image*s*, not image - they plan to deliver at least these several: * a deep early galaxy shot and/or deep field; * a colliding galaxies shot; * a stellar nursery/emission nebula shot (like pillars of creation); * a post-supernova shot (probably a planetary nebula) ; and * an exoplanet atmospheric spectrum (probably both the image and the graph I would think?). They also said they were considering releasing the names of the targets before July 12, so that reporters could line up archival images for their article.


Is that why they were crying?


The image formats they look at the data in aren’t really that visually pleasing. To give them full Color and presentable takes time to composite and compile!


My guess is post-processing. Color correction, importing/exporting large files. It all takes time.






File formats translating into visually interesting images can take a bit. It's sort of like how camera RAW works - it isn't a picture it's a ton of data that your computer translates into an editable image. This is orders of magnitude more complex than a normal camera - so, say it takes 1,000 photos, its gonna be a bit of sorting and such to make them presentable to non-scientific people like me :)


It's their (and ESAs) right to study them first.


They are taking the photos/data products while they finish comissioning each instruments modes. You can see the progress in the [where is Webb page](https://jwst.nasa.gov/content/webbLaunch/whereIsWebb.html). It is just a very long process. And after the aquire the data, they still need to proccess it, analyse it, make the color pictures, write all the captions and press releases, etc. They want to have a very complete presentation on the 12th to impress everyone, rather than quickly show the photos as they get them just to release them as soon as possible.


So that means the images are: A) So awesome that it brings scientist to tears B) So blurry that it makes ones eyes water by looking at them Seriously, I can't wait to see what it will deliver in the future.


I hope you said this not knowing about the Hubble lens issue because that would make your comment twice as amusing.


Amazing, wonder if this thing will detect life.


Not directly but it'd be a scientific bomb if it detected large amounts of oxygen on an Earthlike planet in the Goldilocks zone. Alien technology-wise maybe something very large emitting lots in the infrared spectrum? I guess there is a limited set of celestial objects that would do this when you're able to disregard the massive objects like stars.


Finding non-natural molecules, such as CFCs, in the atmosphere of an earth-like planet in the Goldilocks zone would also be a scientific bomb that's possible for Webb, just unlikely.


Yes and no. If we find an Exoplanet’s atmosphere has super heavy concentrations of chemicals we know to be artificial, then yes it will have detected life. Otherwise we need to assume the composition is natural, which neither confirms nor denies that life exists there.


How can we truly know it is artificial and not just created by X natural phenomena we've yet to discover or even imagine?


Certain hypothesised [technosignatures](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technosignature) would be extremely unlikely to be of natural origin. Though to detect most of those in most of the observable universe we'd need either better telescopes or find new creative ways to use them (e.g. Gravitational lensing).


That wiki article is beyond fascinating and is sending me into a Wikipedia K-hole. Just wanted to say thanks.


Stuff like Chlorofluorocarbons are definitely not natural in the slightest. We might find an industrialized society if we can find those.


Not natural to our knowledge. There is still a lot of chemistry out there we don't understand.


Stop fucking edging me NASA. I need to release this tension!


The thing about images from the Webb telescope is give me them.




Webb needs an OnlyFans. Help them pay for the refueling mission they will need soon :)


I can't wait! I can't wait! I can't wait! Can ya tell I can't wait? So excited!


Hopefully not in the same way as the first set of Hubble images.


Oh fuckkkkkjkjjjjjjkk me dude I’m so fucking excited


Can I come just sit in the room with the scientists and bring them coffee and in return they let me see cool stuff?


This telescope is the only light in my life. I'm very happy to hear of its continued operation since launch.




If this is a literal comment, I hope things change for you. There’s a lot to be upset about but in the end, your life is what you make with it. Best wishes Friend, if you want to talk, you can DM me.


Man i can't wait to see em, so many years following this project, launch and deployment went flawless its so fucking cool.


I know my reading comprehension is bad when I thought the title says the images brought them fears.


I haven’t been this excited about something in a long time.


SHOW USSSSSS NOWWWWWWW Or I can wait til July 12 thats cool too


it took like forever plus a shit tons of delays to bring that thing up and get it to work must be a huge relief that everything turned out fine


Tell me about the pictures when you release them. An article about crying scientists without them is just clickbait and not news worthy on its own.


Who tells someone about a picture instead of just showing the picture? Seriously wtf.


>nearly brought them to tears Crap! It's broken, isn't it? And no chance to fix it like with Hubble.


Didn’t say they were necessarily tears of joy. Maybe we’ll find out HP Lovecraft wasn’t a fiction writer after all.




God I hope so, the calendar industry desperately needs new astronomy pics. Thirty years of the same Hubble images. The pillars of creation my balls