Exclusive to the planetarium: the first images from the James Webb Space Telescope

Exclusive to the planetarium: the first images from the James Webb Space Telescope
A view of the Webb telescope in space (source: NASA)

Bochum. The James Webb Space Telescope, launched over Christmas 2021, reached its target orbit in late January 2022 – and on Tuesday, July 12, the Bochum constellation will offer the first images taken by a telescope unique in the universe. The planetarium invites you to be there at 7.30 pm and marvel at the images that come exclusively with the planetarium team from the European Space Agency ESA. The event is free of charge, registration is required by email at [email protected]

The James Webb Space Telescope, abbreviated “Webb”, is a joint project of the space agencies NASA (USA), ESA (Europe) and CSA (Canada). It has been at its target 1.5 million kilometers from Earth since the beginning of the year. The mirror, which consists of several sections, was adjusted upon arrival and the instruments were successfully commissioned. Routine observational operations are now beginning, aimed at providing new scientific insights into, among other things, the Big Bang and the formation and further evolution of galaxies, black holes, stars and planetary systems. Experts and astronomy enthusiasts are eagerly awaiting the first images from the telescope, which no one knows exactly what they show. It is said to include the most sensitive image ever taken of the universe, as well as a view of the atmosphere of a planet orbiting a distant star. The time has come on July 12: NASA and ESA will reveal the secret and publish the first “web” recordings, which they will immediately make available to the Bochum constellation.

A test image of a star with galaxies in the background while the mirror is adjusted (Source: NASA)

At the premiere at the Bochum Planetarium, the Director of the Planetarium, Prof. Susan Huttemeister, and astronomy and space journalist Danielle Fischer, present recordings of “Web” to the public just hours after their publication. In addition, they provide further information about the space mission that Daniel Fischer has been following since the beginning and categorize new views of the universe for visitors to the planetarium dome.

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The 20-year observation mission with the James Webb Space Telescope is also so spectacular because it began 15 years later than originally planned due to construction delays. “Webb” had arrived at his observation post without complications, experts feared, because the 6.5-meter mirror and sun shield, which keeps the telescope’s instruments cool, fit into the rocket only when folded. To the relief of all involved, the disclosure was successful. With images from the “Webb” telescope, the mission is now presenting its first results to the public.

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