There are over 1000 galaxies in this one picture clicked by James Webb Telescope

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The James Webb Telescope, cooling in the darkness of space, is ready for the first observation and the first pictures will drop on July 12, but before we see those iconic images, a tease has been dropped.

A new image captured by the powerful observatory reveals what the science image will have. As a test run, the image captured by the spacecraft shows a view of stars and galaxies that provides a tantalizing glimpse of the universe.

The image is a result of 72 exposures over 32 hours is among the deepest images of the universe ever taken, according to Webb scientists.

“The observations were not optimized for detection of faint objects, but nevertheless the image captures extremely faint objects and is, for now, the deepest image of the infrared sky,” Nasa said in a statement released with the image.

Also Read | James Webb Telescope has its own fridge in space

The image, captured to test how well the telescope could stay locked onto a target, is mono-chromatic and is displayed in false colour with white-yellow-orange-red representing the progression from brightest to dimmest. The image is monochromatic and is displayed in false colour with white-yellow-orange-red representing the progression from brightest to dimmest.

The engineering test image produced during a thermal stability test in mid-May has some rough-around-the-edges qualities to it. (Photo: Nasa)

How will James Webb Telescope lock its targets?

How does the $10 billion observatory lock its targets and location to observe? Enters the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).

The agency has developed a Fine Guidance Sensor (FGS) and its main job is to enable accurate science measurements and imaging with precision pointing. While the Webb telescope is normally tuned to beam back data from only two instruments at a time, during the May test run it occurred to the team that they could keep the imagery that was being captured because there was available data transfer bandwidth.

Also Read | What will James Webb Telescope’s first photos have?

When FGS’ aperture is open, it is not using colour filters like the other science instruments meaning it is impossible to study the age of the galaxies in this image with the rigour needed for scientific analysis. But: Even when capturing unplanned imagery during a test, FGS was capable of producing stunning views of the cosmos.

All eyes are bow on July 12, when the Webb team will reveal the first science image captured by the spacecraft designed to see the birth of our universe. The flying observatory is tuned to find answers to the questions of how did it all belong and what happened moments after the big bang.

Also Read | Imagine seeing Milky Way in 2000 infrared colours. James Webb Telescope is about to do it

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