There’s a recipe to seeing farther back in time than ever before.
First: point your telescope at an empty patch of sky, observing for as long as you dare.
Choose a clear line-of-sight: possessing minimal light-blocking material.
Use a space-based telescope, avoiding Earth’s absorptive, distorting atmosphere.
And observe at long wavelengths, compensating for cosmic redshift.
Before JWST, the Hubble eXtreme Deep Field recorded our deepest views.
With 23 days of multi-wavelength observations, it unveiled unprecedented riches.
Seeing ~5,500 galaxies in just 1/32,000,000th of the sky, it revealed galaxies ~400 million years post-Big Bang.
But JWST is larger, sharper, and reaches much longer wavelengths.
With only 20 hours of observing time in the same field-of-view, it’s already revealed what Hubble can’t.
Ionized galactic gas shines bright in JWST’s infrared views.
Foreground stars are resolvable into binaries.
But most remarkable are objects visible to JWST, but unseen by Hubble.
All across this high-resolution JWST deep-field, new objects emerge.
Some are faint, dusty foreground objects.
But others will be ultra-distant galaxies: well beyond Hubble’s limited vision.
JWST’s sharper, longer-wavelength views are revealing the deepest objects of all-time.
Spectroscopic studies, upcoming, will shatter even JWST’s current cosmic record.
Mostly Mute Monday tells an astronomical story in images, visuals, and no more than 200 words. Talk less; smile more.