OK it is really late here, but today's reveal of the first JWST image of the galaxy cluster SMACS-0723 was amazing, and I am still digesting it. There is so much stuff going on, it is absolutely breathtaking!

Just to get an idea of what an improvement this is over Hubble, over at The Robot Report, they show this beautiful side-by-side view of the previous best image taken with Hubble, and tonight's result. It's wild.

There is a high-resolution (around 30 MB) .png version of the image over here.

My God... It's full or arcs!

On top of the better contrast ("depth", as astronomers call it) of the JWST image, it definitely also shows better detail than HST does. Look at all the star clusters you can see, both in the lensed galaxy and (I guess) in the lensing galaxy cluster.

For comparison, here is approximately the same region as seen by Hubble Space Telescope, until tonight the sharpest image ever taken of it. The difference is breathtaking.


Honestly, I am almost a little intimidated and scared by the sheer amount of information JWST will bring us. How can anyone process all of that? This image alone looks like the data behind it could be the basis of at least one entire Ph.D. But most of all, it is extremely exciting. We are going to see a flurry of amazing image releases over the next months.

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Well, probably.

How many papers were based on the HST deep field image?

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