The Southern Ring Nebula as photographed by JWST. Image: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI
On July 12, the scientists operating NASA’s newest space observatory, the James Webb Telescope (JWST), unveiled the first full-colour images obtained by the sophisticated instrument. The images were met with a lot of excitement. Why?
In the view below, Prajval Shastri describes the significance of these images, including easy-to-understand explanations of false-colour imaging, the spikes visible around light sources in the image, the science of spectroscopy and why we’re spending so much effort to gaze the beginning of the universe. The video is intended for a general audience and doesn’t require prior familiarity with the scientific concepts involved.
Shastri is an astrophysicist. She was at the Indian Institute of Astrophysics from 1995 to 2018. Currently, she is emeritus scientist at the Raman Research Institute and adjunct professor at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research.