The James Webb Telescope Reveals the Edges of the Universe

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The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST or Webb), 3d illustration, elements of this image are furnished by NASA (Getty Images)

A nursery of stars. Galaxies 13 billion light years away. The Carina Nebula. These are some of the spectacular images captured by the James Webb Telescope from its vantage point one million miles away from earth. As the telescope’s detail-saturated pictures were beamed across the world on Tuesday, they were met with awed silence as well as whoops of joy from scientists, some whose entire careers have been dedicated to the telescope. One of the most complicated spacecraft ever launched, the the telescope, which boasts a sun shield the size of a tennis court, will beam back images and data for the next 20 years. We’ll talk to scientists who helped design the James Webb Telescope and find out what we can expect to see next.


Marcia Rieke, Regents' professor of Astronomy and astronomer, Steward Observatory, University of Arizona - Dr. Rieke is the principal investigator for the NIRCam on the James Webb Space Telescope.

Tom Greene, astrophysicist, Space Science and Astrobiology Division at NASA Ames Research Center - Dr. Greene works on the NIRCam and MIRI science instruments on the James Webb Telescope.

Marina Koren, staff writer, The Atlantic - Koren covers space for the magazine.