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NASA releases striking images of unseen corners of universe

4 new images from James Webb Space Telescope offer glimpses into birth, death of stars

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NASA released a batch of new images Tuesday from its James Webb Space Telescope, offering more glimpses into previously unseen corners of the universe.

The striking photos, including four that were released after President Joe Biden unveiled the first on Monday, chronicle several interstellar phenomena, from a dying star’s last hoorah to the sweeping vistas of orange “cosmic cliffs” reaching into the bright blue of space as stars are birthed in the Carina Nebula.

The largest image from the space observatory details Stephan’s Quintet, capturing a view of five galaxies via Webb’s advanced Near-Infrared Camera and Mid-Infrared Instrument. The image contains more than 150 million pixels and is a composite of over 1,000 separate images.

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Another image includes what is known as a transmission spectrum, which documents the atmospheric details of a hot gas giant exoplanet known as WASP 96-B. The image indicates there is water vapor on the planet, and NASA said its image offers “the most detailed infrared exoplanet transmission spectrum ever collected.”

“Today, we present humanity with a groundbreaking new view of the cosmos from the James Webb Space Telescope – a view the world has never seen before,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in a statement.

“These images, including the deepest infrared view of our universe that has ever been taken, show us how Webb will help to uncover the answers to questions we don’t even yet know to ask; questions that will help us better understand our universe and humanity’s place within it,” he added.

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The US launched the $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope, a joint project that included the Canadian and European space agencies, in December. The sophisticated 6.2-ton space observatory is expected to explore the deepest reaches of the cosmos for at least five years, sending never-before-seen images of the universe back to Earth.

Anadolu with additional input by GVS News Desk