A meaningful comparison between the capabilities of the Hubble Space Telescope and the new James Webb Space Telescope

What we can observe in the picture is the Carina Nebula, a massive unique formation visible in the southern night sky, photographed by Hubble (top panel) and James Webb (bottom panel).

The massive difference in fine details amount is not only due to the about six times larger light gathering capacity of JWST. In addition to this, James Webb’s sensitivity extends to a much larger range of infrared wavelengths when compared to HST. Indeed, to see deeper into nebulae, astronomers use infrared light, since these objects are often opaque to visible lights, yet more transparent when observed in the infrared. JWST’s infrared image of the Carina Nebula reveals more structure and detail in the clouds and allows us to observe the stars (impossible to see in visible light) inside it, some of them have just formed!

A truly amazing example of the tremendous potential of this great new instrument, which has already opened a new window on the Universe.

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