Spitzer, NASA’s first Great Observatory to provide high-resolution images of the infrared universe, paved the way for Webb. With its significantly larger primary mirror and improved detectors, Webb will be able to see the infrared sky with improved clarity, enabling even more discoveries.
Webb’s image, taken by its MIRI instrument, shows unprecedented detail. It features light from “polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs),” or molecules of carbon and hydrogen, observations of which will help us better understand the gas that exists between stars. Get ready for Webb to #UnfoldTheUniverse in ways we can’t imagine when it starts science operations this summer!
Images credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech (top); NASA/ESA/CSA/STScI (bottom)