For more than three decades, Hubble has inspired the world with stunning images of the universe. However, It seems that a tough competitor has emerged that is leaving everyone speechless with each new photograph that it shows: James Webb (JWST).
All the images that have been captured by Hubble are truly incredible. However, the problem is that there galaxies even older than it has failed to capture. They are very far away, and due to the expansion of the universe, they are receding so rapidly that the wavelengths of their light have shifted into the infrared, far beyond Hubble’s detection capabilities. That’s where the James Webb comes in.
As if that were not enough, all the revolution that this telescope from NASA, now surprises again with one more novelty: it has found 15,000 more galaxies in its first snapshot than those captured in a study carried out 20 years ago by the Hubble Space Telescope.
Specifically, the James Webb has identified a total of 25,000 galaxies in that single image, drastically exceeding the nearly 10,000 previously captured. “When it’s finished, this profound field will be staggeringly large and overwhelmingly beautiful.”says Caitlin Casey, an astronomer at the University of Texas at Austin, co-leader of the research.
If Hubble doesn’t arrive, James Webb enters the game
As NASA explains, since its birth, the James Webb has been involved in an ambitious program to map the oldest structures in the universe called COSMOS-Web. Thanks to its potential and effectiveness, astronomers have begun sharing images from the study.
Like other deep-field surveys that preceded it, COSMOS-Web focuses on only a small portion of the sky, about the size of three full moons based on the POTusing the telescope’s near-infrared camera.
With this as a basis, it is expected that the telescope will be able to delve into the deep universe and provide answers to astronomers in relation to a very specific and unknown period: “between 400,000 and 1 billion years after the Big Bang, a time during which stars, galaxies, and other structures arose”explains NASA.
At the moment this is just a first phase that, by the end of it, is expected to have studied up to a million galaxies in the course of some 255 hours of observations.
To clarify again that the JWST was designed to pick up where Hubble left off in the study of the early universe and is proving that way. This is why this does not mean that it is the end of Hubble either. They are two completely different telescopes in two different places. Certainly the JWST is much more powerful and revolutionary, but that is not why it replaces its predecessor.