James Webb recreates Hubble's most famous and distant photograph

deep field

The James Webb Space Telescope is the most powerful telescope of its kind. It is tasked with providing a new perspective on the universe and serving as a complement to Hubble observations. Thanks to new technologies and improved physical capabilities, such as larger mirrors. This allows for better and faster data acquisition. This has been put to the test by capturing a new image of the famous ultra-deep field.

The entire new photograph of the area that I have called the ultra-deep field. The image required 20 hours of observation by the NIRCam instrument. Credits: NASA, ESA, CSA, Joseph DePasquale (STScI), Christina Williams (NSF's NOIRLab).

Ultra Deep Field

In the list of proposals for Hubble's observing time, one in particular appeared. In addition to targeting known objects, such as planets, nebulae or galaxies, the goal was to capture a very high-exposure image of a region that at first glance appeared to be empty. The goal was to look for the farthest possible objects and structures. Over time this became one of the most famous telescopes ever taken and for many years the farthest we had been able to see.


New attempt

While Hubble required 11.3 days and about 400 orbits around the Earth to achieve its ultra-deep field, Hubble's ultra-deep field was not the only one., the new James Webb instruments achieved a better image. Spending only about 20 hours to study the same region.

Thanks to the sensitivity of NIRCam's infrared view, new red galaxies that were previously invisible can be seen. Their light has been stretched by the expanding universe for billions of years. This also gives a better insight into the processes of stellar formation and evolution in the distant past.

Francisco Andrés Forero Daza