ST. LOUIS – NASA has released images taken by the most powerful space telescope ever, the James Webb Space Telescope. These images are fascinatingly beautiful and scientists across the world are excited about what these new images of deep space will mean for the future of space exploration.

“There is so much out there in the universe that there is always something new to learn. That’s what I love about it,” said astrophysicist Will Snyder, manager of McDonnell Planetarium at the Saint Louis Science Center.

Recently, there is a lot of new things to learn thanks to the Webb Space Telescope. Snyder said the science community has been waiting decades for images like these.

“What I really love about the images that they picked today is that they give a good taste of what this telescope will be capable of,” “Snyder said. “We were able to see galaxies, nebulae, atmospheres of planets, and we’ve been able to look back almost to the very beginning of the universe as we think of it.”

Snyder explains that, while the Hubble Space Telescope has revolutionized the way we see the universe, it mostly uses visible light. Webb uses the infrared spectrum to see things in greater detail than ever before.

“The fact that we can see the infrared light coming from different stars, areas around black holes, and merging galaxies really give us a much fuller picture than what we can see with just visible light.”

Webb is the world’s largest and most powerful space telescope. It launched in December 2021 and reached its lookout point one million miles from earth in January 2022. Scientists said these images and the ones that will follow will change our understanding of the universe.

“It allows us to start answering questions that, before, we didn’t even know to ask,” said Snyder. “With each of these pictures that come back, we’re the first people to get these looks at things that no one has ever seen before. I think that’s a really amazing concept that, without ever leaving the Earth, we all are exploring space together.”

If you have questions about what you are seeing in these Webb Telescope images, the Planetarium is a great resource. James Webb Space Telescope images will be part of the shows at the St. Louis Science Center. On Saturday, July 16, 2022, they will have NASA Solar System Ambassadors on-site to answer questions that people have.