Tuesday marked the world wide release of the first images from the new James Webb Space Telescope which can now provide incredibly detailed images from deep space. Through a partnership with NASA, Sacramento State was able to display those first 5 images from the telescope in the planetarium on campus. They opened the facility for a showing of the images in a public open house led by Astronomer and planetarium director Kyle Watters. The showing of the Webb photos were part of a unique partnership program to display the images at planetariums across the United States. As of now, Tuesday was the only day scheduled to display the Webb images at planetarium, but more could be scheduled for August. The planetarium on campus can hold about 90 people at a time and the dome ceiling acts as a 2,500 square foot projection screen.
Details on the showings offered at the planetarium can be found on the Sac State Planetarium website.
The James Webb Space Telescope cost about $10 billion to build and is able to provide the deepest view of the universe ever captured. The first image released Monday afternoon shows light that's been traveling for 13-billion years from a cluster of galaxies. The James Webb telescope is also being used to create the first detailed near-infrared study of the atmosphere of a planet in what's known as the habitable-zone. The Webb telescope was launched on Christmas Day in 2021 atop a Ariane 5 rocket. The telescope features a state-of-the-art gold plated mirror that measures over 21 feet long. NASA says the telescope is equipped with revolutionary technology that is tasked with gathering images in order to research every phase of the cosmic history since the Big Bang 13 billion years ago.
Click here to see the release of the first photos from the telescope from NASA.