How to See the First James Webb Telescope Images

How to See the First James Webb Telescope Images

We all held our collective breath late last year when NASA launched the long-awaited James Webb Space Telescope on its monthlong journey to a destination nearly a million miles away. After a successful deployment, the JWST has been hard at work with testing and calibration, and it’s time to see what the telescope is seeing out there in the universe.

The very first image from the Webb is set to be revealed on Tuesday, July 12 (July 11 for the U.S.) during a preview event at the White House, with President Joe Biden and NASA Administrator Bill Nelson in attendance. The event, scheduled for 7 a.m. AEST, will be live-streamed on NASA TV. Once the image is made public, it will also be posted on NASA’s website and social media feeds.

But there’s more — here’s how to watch the main event on Tuesday, July 12/Wednesday, July 13.

How to watch the JWST image reveal

The Webb’s official image release day is Tuesday, July 12 and Wednesday, July 13, which is when NASA and partner agencies (the European Space Agency and Canadian Space Agency) will unveil a set of full-colour images and data from the telescope. Here’s the live coverage schedule:

  • 11:45 p.m. AEST July 12: opening remarks
  • 12:30 a.m. AEST July 13: image release broadcast
  • 2:30 a.m. AEST July 13: media briefing with project scientists

All events will be available to watch on NASA TV, the NASA app, and NASA’s website (NASA Live). The image release coverage at 12:30 a.m on July 13, will also be streaming on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Twitch, and Daily Motion.

If you don’t want to tune into the live coverage, you can view the images on NASA’s website upon release.

What will the JWST images show?

We don’t know exactly what the images will reveal, but NASA recently released a list of targets for the Webb’s initial observations. These include two nebulae, a galaxy cluster, and an exoplanet (a planet outside our solar system).

The public has already seen the telescope’s selfie from space, as well as instrument calibration and test images, but the photos to come are considered the first look at the JWST’s capabilities.

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