Mapping the early universe with NASA’s Webb Telescope

Posted on June 25, 2020 9:54 am
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Astronomers and engineers have designed telescopes, in part, to be “time travelers.”

The farther away an object is, the longer its light takes to reach Earth. Peering back in time is one reason why NASA’s upcoming James Webb Space Telescope specializes in collecting infrared light: These longer wavelengths, which were initially emitted by stars and galaxies as ultraviolet light more than 13 billion years ago, have stretched, or redshifted, into infrared light as they traveled toward us through the expanding universe.

Although many other observatories, including NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, have previously created “deep fields” by staring at small areas of