NASA unveils Webb telescope's first full-color images

STORY: Tuesday's unveil included images of new stars and nebulae where stars are believed to have formed, colorful bubbles showing the plume of a dying star, and measurements revealing the presence of water vapor in the atmosphere of an exoplanet orbiting a star in another solar solar system

The first batch of full-color, high-resolution pictures, which took weeks to render from raw telescope data, were selected by NASA to provide compelling early images from Webb's major areas of inquiry and a preview of science missions ahead.

The $9 billion infrared telescope, built for NASA by aerospace giant Northrop Grumman, is expected to revolutionize astronomy by allowing scientists to peer farther than before and with greater clarity into the cosmos, to the dawn of the known universe.

A partnership between NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency, the Webb was launched on Christmas Day, 2021, and reached its destination in solar orbit nearly 1 million miles from Earth a month later.

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