We were going to write about NASA’s James Webb telescope but Canon Anthony Charlton beat us to it. He is PP of St Thomas, Canterbury.
Amidst all the news about the continued atrocities in Ukraine and the search for a new prime minister, the first full-colour picture from the new James Webb Space Telescope has been released. The $10bn James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), was launched last Christmas and is billed as the successor to the famous Hubble Space Telescope.
It will make all sorts of observations of the sky but has two overarching goals. One is to take pictures of the very first stars to shine in the Universe more than 13.5 billion years ago; the other is to probe far-off planets to see if they might be habitable.
The BBC website reported “The image is said to be the deepest, most detailed infrared view of the Universe to date, containing the light from galaxies that has taken many billions of years to reach us. Light travels at 186,000 miles per second. And that light that you are seeing on one of those little specks has been travelling for over 13 billion years,” said Nasa administrator Bill Nelson.” And by the way, we’re going back further, because this is just the first image. They’re going back about 13 and a half billion years. And since we know the Universe is 13.8 billion years old, you’re going back almost to the beginning.”
What an exciting revelation. It is hard to take in but amazing that we have such a new glimpse of the universe. I immediately thought of the words of Psalm 8
“When I see the heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you arranged, what is man that you should keep him in mind, or the son of man that you care for him? Yet you have made him little lower than the angels; with glory and honour you crowned him, gave him power over the works of your hands. You put all things under his feet.”
Canon Father Anthony Charlton, Parish Priest, St Thomas’, Canterbury.