They make a stellar background. Get it? Stellar? DO YOU GET IT?!

Source: NASA and SCStl

In July 2022, all of space nerddom released a collective squeal of excitement when the James Webb Space Telescope released its first images. The images are stunning, and offer a clarity of the universe we’ve never before experienced in such exquisite sharpness and detail. And since these images were released, the telescope has continued to explore and discover early galaxies.

In early 2023, NASA released new findings shared at the 241st meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) that took place January 8-12, 2023. Among those findings are 850 recently-discovered distant galaxies as well as extremely young galaxies that bear a striking resemblance to green peas.


And while the Webb Telescope continues to send jaw-dropping images like the pair below, showing a dusty debris ring around a dwarf star in the southern constellation Microscopiu, the first images still hold a special place for us, With all the recent news about the Webb telescope, we decided to take another look at the initial high-resolution images and share them with our fellow nerds.

What appears to be a vibrant red and blue line, captured by the Webb Telescope, is images of a dusty debris disk around AU Mic.
These two images are of the dusty debris disk around AU Mic, a red dwarf star located 32 light-years away in the southern constellation Microscopiu

Source: NASA, ESA, CSA, and K. Lawson. 

Images of a dusty debris ring around a dwarf star captured by the Webb Telescope in Dec. 2022.

The Webb’s first images, shared in summer 2022, are available on the Webb Space Telescope website. Image resolutions vary, but they’re available in sizes from “just” 4K-by-4K and up. One example of the Carina Nebula — located 8,500 light-years from earth — is available in up to 14,575-by-8,441 pixels, though smaller versions of most of the images are available as well. Keep in mind that these files can get pretty big for the full-quality versions, though — we’re talking over a hundred megabytes. File formats are TIF and PNG, so you’re getting great quality.

A sampling of images released in July 2022. Full-resolution images are available on the Webb Space Telescope Site.

If the photos by themselves aren’t enough for you, there are also cool infographics that offer details on spectrum analysis and explain the Webb telescope’s diffraction spikes — star-shaped lens flare that appear in some of the images. Renders and artist illustrations are also available, and you can filter images by collection, category, or type, as well as search for specific stuff in the library. There are a lot more than just the five samples available, and some of those samples are even available in multiple versions captured from different parts of the infrared spectrum.

You can download the James Webb Space Telescope photos at your convenience. If you want something to jazz up your phone, check out our collection of high-res wallpapers from the Web Telescope.

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