Space Telescope Science Institute/NASA
  • Cosmic chaos

    Cosmic chaos
    Rings of dusty debris surround the star Fomalhaut in an image from the James Webb telescope. It reveals three distinct nested belts extending out to 14 billion miles from the star. The inner belts, which had never been seen before, were most likely carved by the gravitational forces produced by unseen planets. The star is the center of an evolving planetary system and scientists are intrigued by the unexpected asteroid belt discovered in this new image.
    Space Telescope Science Institut/ESA/NASA
  • Sakura to Supernova

    Sakura to Supernova
    Wolf-Rayet star WR 124, located 15,000 light-years away in the constellation Sagittarius, is seen in this James Webb Space Telescope image released Mar. 14. WR 124's nebula is made of material cast off from the aging star in random ejections and from dust produced in the ensuing turbulence. This brilliant stage of mass loss precedes the star's eventual supernova, when nuclear fusion in its core stops and the pressure of gravity causes it to collapse in on itself and then explode.
    Space Telescope Science Institute/NASA
  • Fiery Hourglass

    Fiery Hourglass
    The James Webb Space Telescope catches a fiery hourglass as a new star forms in an image released, Nov. 16, 2022. Hidden in the neck of this "hourglass" of light are the very beginnings of a new star, known as a protostar. This protostar is a hot, puffy clump of gas that is only a fraction of the mass of the Sun. As it draws material in, its core will compress, get hotter and eventually begin nuclear fusion, creating a star.
    Space Telescope Science Institute/NASA
  • Dwarf Galaxy

    Dwarf Galaxy
    With this image of the dwarf galaxy Wolf-Lundmark-Melotte, released Nov, 9, 2022, the James Webb Space Telescope demonstrates its ability to resolve faint stars outside the Milky Way. Just 3 million light-years from Earth, WLM is considered a dwarf galaxy in our galactic neighborhood. WLM also has a similar chemical makeup to galaxies in the early universe, meaning it is poor in elements heavier than hydrogen and helium. These traits make WLM ideal for studying how stars form and evolve in small galaxies, similar to those in the early universe.
    Space Telescope Science Institute/NASA
  • Pillars of Creation

    Pillars of Creation
    The “Pillars of Creation” has layers of semi-opaque rusty red gas and dust that start at the bottom left and go toward the top right in this image from the James Webb Space Telescope, released Oct. 19, 2022. The Pillars of Creation, first captured by the Hubble Telescope in 1995, were photographed by the Webb Telescope in near-infrared light, which is invisible to human eyes. Seeing in infrared allows Webb to pierce through the dust and reveal many stars. Webb’s image identifies more precise counts of newborn stars, along with the quantities of gas and dust.
    Space Telescope Science Institute/NASA
  • Tree Rings

    Tree Rings
    A bright dot at the center of a star-filled black space is seen in this James Webb Space Telescope image, released Oct. 12, 2022. The bright dot is actually two stars meeting, which happens every eight years. Under the right conditions, this collision of streaming gas can form a new ring of dust. Webb reveals 15 of the 17 rings seen here for the first time. This star pair known as Wolf-Rayet 140 generate powerful winds that push huge amounts of gas into space.
    Space Telescope Science Institute/NASA
  • Neptune’s Rings

    Neptune’s Rings
    The James Webb Space Telescope has captured the clearest view of planet Neptune's rings in more than 30 years, revealing the ice giant in a new light with an image released, Sept. 21, 2022. Most striking about the image is the crisp view of the planet's dynamic rings. This first image from the telescope of Neptune reveals several key features of the ice giant's atmosphere only visible in the infrared spectrum. Most prominent in the image are a series of bright patches representing methane ice clouds. These clouds are high in the atmosphere and reflect the sun's bright light.
    Space Telescope Science Institute/NASA
  • Tarantula Nebula

    Tarantula Nebula
    A space image captured by the James Webb Space Telescope reveals details of thousands of never-before-seen young stars in the Tarantula Nebula in an image released Sept. 6, 2022. The center of this image, taken by Webb’s Near-Infrared Camera, has been hollowed out by the radiation from young, massive stars seen in pale blue. Only the densest surrounding areas of the nebula resist erosion, forming the pillars that appear to point back toward the cluster of stars in the center. The pillars are home to still-forming stars, which will eventually leave their cocoons and help shape the nebula.
    Space Telescope Science Institute/NASA
  • Phantom Galaxy

    Phantom Galaxy
    This image from the James Webb Space Telescope, released Aug. 31, 2022, shows the heart of M74, otherwise known as the Phantom Galaxy. The telescope has revealed gray filaments forming a spiral pattern winding outward from the center of the galaxy. These spiral arms of the galaxy are traced by blue and pink and represent regions in which stars are forming. The very heart of the galaxy is colored blue and has speckles, which are young stars that are forming around the nucleus of the galaxy.
    Space Telescope Science Institute/NASA
  • Jupiter

    An image of Jupiter, captured by NASA's James Webb Space Telescope, released Aug. 22, 2022, comes from the telescope’s Near-Infrared Camera, which has three specialized infrared filters that showcase details of the planet. In this wide-field view, Webb sees Jupiter with its faint rings, which are a million times fainter than the planet, and two tiny moons called Amalthea and Adrastea. The fuzzy spots in the lower background are likely galaxies “photobombing” this Jovian view.
    Space Telescope Science Institute/NASA
  • Cartwheel Galaxy

    Cartwheel Galaxy
    The Cartwheel and its companion galaxies are a composite from James Webb Space Telescope's Near-Infrared Camera and Mid-Infrared Instrument, released Aug. 2, 2022, which reveals details that are difficult to see in individual images alone. This galaxy formed as the result of a high-speed collision that occurred about 400 million years ago. The Cartwheel is composed of two rings, a bright inner ring, and a colorful outer ring. Both rings expand outward from the center of the collision, like shockwaves.
    Space Telescope Science Institute/NASA
  • Stephan's Quintet

    Stephan's Quintet
    In the James Webb Space Telescope’s image of Stephan’s Quintet, released July 12, 2022, five galaxies are seen, four of which interact. These colliding galaxies are pulling and stretching each other in a gravitational dance. The galaxies are large relative to the hundreds of much smaller and more distant galaxies in the background. All five galaxies have bright white cores, and each has a slightly different size, shape, structure and coloring.
    Space Telescope Science Institute/NASA
  • Dying Star

    Dying Star
    The James Webb Space Telescope captures two stars in the Southern Ring planetary nebula that are a dying star expelling gas and dust in orbit with a younger star that is helping to change the shape of this nebula’s intricate rings in an image released July 12, 2022. Despite “planet” in the name, which comes from how these objects first appeared to astronomers observing them hundreds of years ago, these are shells of dust and gas shed by dying sun-like stars. The nebula is shaped like an irregular oval, with reddish orange plumes of gas and dust.
    Space Telescope Science Institute/NASA
  • Cosmic Cliffs

    Cosmic Cliffs
    Behind the curtain of dust and gas in these Cosmic Cliffs are previously hidden baby stars, uncovered by NASA's James Webb Space Telescope in an image released July 12, 2022. The image is divided horizontally by an undulating line between a cloudscape forming a nebula along the bottom portion and a comparatively clear upper portion. Speckled across both portions is a star-field, showing innumerable stars of many sizes. The cloud-like structure of the nebula contains ridges, peaks and valleys -- an appearance very similar to a mountain range.
    Space Telescope Science Institute/NASA
  • Distant Galaxies

    Distant Galaxies
    In the first James Webb Space Telescope image to be released July 11, 2022, the deepest and sharpest infrared image of the early universe was taken in less than one day. Similar images from the Hubble Telescope have taken multiple weeks to produce. The background of space is black as thousands of galaxies appear with their shapes and colors varying. These galaxies are part of the galaxy cluster SMACS 0723 and are warping the appearances of galaxies seen around them.
    Space Telescope Science Institute/NASA