"This first image from NASA’s JWST is the deepest and sharpest infrared image of the distant universe to date. Known as Webb’s First Deep Field, this image of galaxy cluster SMACS 0723 is overflowing with detail. Thousands of galaxies – including the faintest objects ever observed in the infrared – have appeared in Webb’s view for the first time. This slice of the vast universe covers a patch of sky approximately the size of a grain of sand held at arm’s length by someone on the ground."
@porsupah I don't think the press release *or* the Presidential hoo-haw does this image justice, to be quite honest.
Firstly, it's vital to note that each speck captured is a *whole galaxy* (whereas the larger points of light with hexagonal rays are individual foreground stars).
Galaxies! And the field is jam packed with them!
Secondly--and here's where an expert opinion would be welcome--the sheer *distances* involved. Time is mentioned--over 13 billion years--but just how far away is that?/
@porsupah I don't have the maths or astronomy knowledge to even guesstimate. I forget how large the theoretically observable universe is, even. I just know that the distances involved are mind-bogglingly huge.
Thirdly, they didn't announce the exposure time. In terms of distance/time, the W First Field images is *probably* comparable to the Hubble Ultra Deep Field, which if memory serves took around *400 hours* of exposure time to generate. /
@porsupah This has to be a small fraction of that! Which means JWST will be capable of looking much, *much* further away/back in time. They didn't play up that aspect nearly enough, in my humble opinion.
Anyway, I'm confident I'm preaching to the choir here; you just provided a handy handle on which to hang my nerd hat ∑:ᴈ
@Qwyrdo Hopefully they'll dive deep into the details tomorrow, with the full set of initial images. I have no doubt the numbers will be mind-boggling. ^_^
@Qwyrdo @porsupah 13 billion years means a minimum distance of 13.23x1023 kilometers (in case your client doesn't do markup, that's a 13.23 times 10 to the power of 23) or a bit more than 800 trillion times the distance between us and the sun. It's literally unfathomable.
And it's actually farther because we know that galaxies did move apart faster than light at some point, I just don't know how MUCH farther.
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