And then there were five: NASA releases the rest of Webb’s first images

Enlarge (credit: NASA)

After months of anticipation, and a day after President Biden himself was involved in the release of an image of the early Universe, NASA has now released four other images from the Webb Space Telescope. The agency had already told us that targets would include a couple of nebulas, a galaxy cluster, and an exoplanet.

But it wasn’t clear exactly what features of these objects would be the focus of these images. Or how NASA would process the images so that features that exist in the infrared area of the spectrum can be perceived in the visible area of the spectrum. Scientists we spoke to at the Webb launch event suggested that everyone was aware that aesthetics matter and would be experimenting with different methods to do this processing in a way that balanced scientific accuracy with the wow factor everyone expects.

The results are finally being made available, and they definitely managed the wow. We’ll add details about the scientific content after it’s discussed at the press conference, which is currently ongoing. But we wanted to get you the images as they become available, so this story will be updated repeatedly as the morning goes along.

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