President Joe Biden will unveil the much-anticipated first full-color image from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope on Monday, agency officials confirmed.
The image, known as “Webb’s First Deep Field,” will be the deepest and highest-resolution view of the universe ever captured, showing myriad galaxies as they appeared up to 13 billion years in the past, according to NASA.
The agency and its partners, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency, are set to release a separate batch of full-color images from the Webb telescope on Tuesday, but Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and the public will get a sneak peek a day early.
NASA will brief the president and the vice president on Monday, agency officials said, and the first image will be revealed at an event at 5 p.m. ET at the White House.
The $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope is humanity’s largest and most powerful space telescope, and experts have said it could revolutionize our understanding of the cosmos.
After the White House event, NASA will unveil more images in an event streamed live Tuesday at 10: 30 a.m. ET. NASA officials said that batch will include the Webb telescope’s first spectrum of an exoplanet, showing light emitted at different wavelengths from a planet in another star system. The images could offer new insights into the atmospheres and chemical makeups of other exoplanets in the cosmos.
Some images included in the Tuesday release will show how galaxies interact and grow, and others will depict the life cycle of stars, from the emergence of new ones to violent stellar deaths.
The Webb telescope launched into space on Dec. 25. The tennis-court-size observatory is able to peer deeper into the cosmos and in greater detail than any telescope that has come before it.
Denise Chow is a reporter for NBC News Science focused on general science and climate change.