James Webb telescope: first images better than expected Images of a very “boring” star are making waves across the astronomical world – they are the first sent back from NASA’s James Webb telescope, and they have exceeded all hopes and expectations.
Having completed the self-assembly of its 18-segmented main mirror, the telescope has now taken exceptional images of an unexceptional star as a test of its capabilities. The star, known as HD84406, is 100 times fainter than what can be seen with the human eye. The star itself is of little interest, lovely though its image is – instead, astronomers are captivated by the spray of tiny dots scattered across the background. Each is a distant galaxy, and this is the first time we’ve ever been able to capture them.