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Space and PhysicsAstronomy

How Mind-Blowing Is JWST? Online Tool Let's You Compare New Images To Hubble

The new images taken by the JWST are lightyears ahead of its predecessor. 

author

Tom Hale

Senior Journalist

clockJul 19 2022, 15:29 UTC
An image of the Carina Nebula previously taken by Hubble (left) compared to the same nebula taken in infrared by JWST (bottom right).
An image of the Carina Nebula previously taken by Hubble (left) compared to the same nebula taken in infrared by JWST (bottom right). Image credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI

Unless you’ve been living in a black hole for the past month, you’ll be aware that the JWST revealed its first scientific images. Minds were blown across the universe (mainly on planet Earth, as far as we could tell), but some were left wondering what the hype was about. 

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To highlight the power of the image produced by the JWST, software developer John Christensen created an interactive tool that lets you clearly see the difference between the latest images and those from its predecessor, the Hubble Space Telescope

Using a sliding toggle, users can swipe to see the latest JWST images with the older Hubble images and bask in the progress. Christensen has since added zoom, pan control, and full-screen mode features, allowing you to make comparisons in even finer detail. 

His tool has included four of the stunning images released so far, including the Southern Ring Nebula, Galaxy Cluster SMACS 0723, Stephan's Quintet, and the Carina Nebula.

As you can see from the tool, the difference between the JWST images and Hubble's is astronomical. But beyond pretty pictures, there is also a wealth of scientific potential laying within these new images. Check out this short explainer to find out what the big deal is about. 

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Meanwhile, be sure to give the slidey interactive tool a visit here.

H/T: NPR


Space and PhysicsAstronomy
  • hubble space telescope,

  • JWST,

  • Astronomy

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