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YouTube Gold: More Brilliance From The James Webb Space Telescope

Maybe the best $10 billion anyone ever spent.

 Image released by NASA on July 12, 2022 shows Stephan’s Quintet, a collection of five galaxies, as seen by MIRI from James Webb Space Telescope. NASA released James Webb Space Telescope’s first full-color images of the universe and their spectroscopic data on Tuesday, revealing the unprecedented and detailed views of the universe.
NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI/Handout via Xinhua

The James Webb Space Telescope was launched on Christmas Day in 2021 and has been in active service since July of that year.

If it stopped working tomorrow, it will have still changed astronomy and our understanding of our place in the universe forever.

The most intriguing recent development is that astronomers now think that the universe may be much older than we had previously thought and obviously that’s huge. We are still on one tiny outpost and we don’t even know where that is in relation to the rest of the universe. We’re just here, wherever here is.

This video of recent images captured by JWST is unbelievably eloquent. They show us several nebulas - the Crab Nebula, which was discovered by the Chinese over 1,000 years ago, the Carina Nebula and something called the Celestial Ribbon.

What is most mind-bending is the scale of these images. They look like something out of modern art and you will see them within the confines of a screen but they are incomprehensibly big.

The JWST was originally budgeted at $1 billion but ultimately cost 10 times that much. Obviously that’s less than ideal but the information that we’re getting out of this is priceless. This is becoming one of humanity’s greatest triumphs.