A glimpse of deep space: Images from James Webb Space Telescope (18 images)

By Wade Sheridan

The James Webb Space Telescope, the largest and most powerful observatory ever launched, has been sending back to Earth the deepest images of the universe ever taken. Among them are photos of Neptune and the Tarantula Nebula.

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope captures a fiery hourglass of light. This cloud of dust and gas is illuminated by light from a protostar, a star in the earliest stages of formation. Photo courtesy of NASA

Two galaxies and two telescopes come together in this image of galaxy pair VV 191, merging Hubble’s ultraviolet and visible-light view with Webb’s infrared vision. Webb allowed researchers to trace light emitted from the bright elliptical galaxy on the left through the spiral galaxy on the right. In doing so, astronomers were able to study the effects of interstellar dust in the spiral galaxy. Image courtesy of NASA

This Webb image shows a bright dot at the center of star-filled black space. The bright dot is actually two stars meeting, as their orbits bring them together every eight years. Photo courtesy of NASA

Webb captured two galaxies in the process of merging that are twisting each other out of shape. Bright tendrils of star-forming regions connect their two glowing cores. These star-forming regions are particularly bright in infrared light, the wavelengths that Webb specializes in. Photo courtesy of NASA