An astronomer’s live reaction to the very first JWST technology pics

Today I was at the National Astronomy Meeting with 500 of my guy astrophysicists and we were all eager to see the very first technology pics from the James Webb Space Telescope. I filmed my live reaction for you, and theirs! I will have a more in depth look at each of the pics for you in Thursday’s video clip.

See all the early release technology project descriptions and proposals here, the data from which will get released on Thursday:
Keep up-to-date with all things JWST on the NASA blog:

👕 My new merch is attainable here (with world-wide transport!):

📚 Pre-order my new book, “A Brief History of Black Holes”, out 1st September 2022 (USA & Canada hardback out 1st November 2022):

🎧 Royal Astronomical Society Podcast that I co-host:

👩🏽‍💻 I’m Dr. Becky Smethurst, an astronomer at the College of Oxford (Christ Church). I love making video clips about technology with an unnatural level of passion. I like to focus on how we know things, not just what we know. And particularly, the things we still do not know. If you have ever wondered about something in space and could not find a reaction on-line – you can ask me! My day job is to do research into how supermassive black holes can affect the galaxies that they live in. In distinctive, I look at whether or not the energy output from the disk of material orbiting around a growing supermassive black hole can stop a galaxy from forming stars.


  1. This is only the beginning. Even caught a side on galaxy in the Carina Nubula image.

  2. So cute ! ❤️ I mean the speaker, the stars, the galaxies,…

  3. Walter W. Krijthe

    Disturbing… I was just watching Star Trek Voyager episodes, and noticed that it contains outdated images… Like this one, in S6:E9 “The Voyager Conspiracy.”

  4. Given the amount of information in just these five images, the astronomical community will need more people and more computing power to cope with the amount of information that Webb will pour down on an unsuspecting Earth. There is a danger that the next big space observatory will launch long before the results from Webb are even half-done.

  5. I was hoping to see the horse head nebula. Possibly later. Nebula are pretty and fascinating to me. Go Dr Becky!

  6. Can someone please link me to the video that Dr Becky is watching? I’d love to watch the whole thing

  7. Carlo Grillenzoni

    7:41 I am wondering if this image enhancement could just be obtained
    with sharpening techniques (which are also present also in the JWST …)

  8. How long does it take to make one image?

  9. Brent Brewington

    This is the JWST content I’ve been looking for

  10. Michael YISRAEL

    How much larger will be the “Observable Universe” with JWST?

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