“Orak,” said Scorch, and bent sideways to get a good look at him. Orak was poring over his The Book of Everything.
She asked, “Are you crying?”
“They are tears of happiness,” sniffled Orak. “I have seen the most beautiful image in the universe.”
“What was it? Have a dog and a cat become best friends? Or a beautiful flower?” Felix tried to guess.
“Neither,” answered Orak.
“A few days ago, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) revealed a few pictures taken by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). One of the images unveiled is the image of a galaxy cluster called SMACS 0723.
It is the deepest and sharpest infrared image of the universe ever! It also features the faintest objects ever seen,” Orak exclaimed.
“Here, have a look,” Orak said. Scorch, Felix, and Verum looked at the picture in The Book of Everything. They saw thousands of tiny galaxies in the image. They were of different shapes and colors. Some were orange, some white.
“Orak, this is beautiful!” Verum said.
“This image covers the area of sky the size of a grain of sand held at arm’s length by someone on the ground,” informed Orak.
“Such a small area revealed thousands of galaxies? Incredible!” Felix said.
“How was this picture taken?” Scorch said.
“It was taken by Webb’s Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam). Light from faraway stars and galaxies takes many years to reach us. The light from these galaxies took billions of years to reach us. So, when we look at this picture, we are now looking back in time. We are looking at the galaxy cluster SMACS 0723 as it appeared 4.6 billion years ago!” Orak said.
“Oh, yes,” Orak added, “The telescope also took pictures of Carina Nebula, Stephan’s Quintet, and Southern Ring planetary nebula. It also spotted the signature of water, haze, and clouds on exoplanet WASP-96 b.”
“JWST is the most powerful telescope in the world. It will continue to take more pictures of our vast, really vast, universe!” said Verum.
“I cannot wait!” Scorch jumped with excitement.