Neil deGrasse Tyson: James Webb telescope photos ‘one of the epic moments’ in human history

NASA released more incredible images of space from the James Webb Space Telescope, including photos that show more galaxies and a dying star. Mark Strassmann takes a look.
NASA released more incredible images of space from the James Webb Space Telescope, including photos that show more galaxies and a dying star. Mark Strassmann takes a look.

This image released by NASA on Tuesday, July 12, 2022, shows the bright star at the center of NGC 3132, the Southern Ring Nebula, for the first time in near-infrared light. (NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI via AP)
This image released by NASA on Tuesday, July 12, 2022, shows the bright star at the center of NGC 3132, the Southern Ring Nebula, for the first time in near-infrared light. (NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI via AP)

Stephan's Quintet
This image provided by NASA on Tuesday, July 12, 2022, shows Stephan’s Quintet, a visual grouping of five galaxies captured by the Webb Telescope’s Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam) and Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI). This mosaic was constructed from almost 1,000 separate image files, according to NASA. (NASA, ESA, CSA, and STScI via AP)

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NASA released more incredible images of space from the James Webb Space Telescope, including photos that show more galaxies and a dying star. Mark Strassmann takes a look.
This image released by NASA on Tuesday, July 12, 2022, shows the bright star at the center of NGC 3132, the Southern Ring Nebula, for the first time in near-infrared light. (NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI via AP)
Stephan's Quintet
WTOP's Shawn Anderson and Brennan Hasselton interview astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson about the $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope's photos of the distant universe.

If you looked at those images released this week from the James Webb Space Telescope, and were absolutely amazed, one famous astrophysicist said that’s an under reaction.

Neil deGrasse Tyson, in an interview with WTOP, says the first thing to understand is that this telescope is a lot like a time machine, making the image released by the White House this week more than amazing.

“What that shows is a field of galaxies,” Tyson said, “some of which go all the way back to nearly the beginning of time.”

He said this telescope offered the deepest infrared image of the universe ever, opening up the possibility of seeing other habitable worlds in the universe and a peek at the early universe. The discovery, he said, could help us better understand how the universe came into being.

So is this one of the epic moments where we’re lucky enough to be alive to witness something beyond amazing? Tyson thinks so.



“We will only remember data, back to this point in the universe, because these data are so much better than what all the other telescopes have given us,” he told WTOP.

NASA, in its news release about the first pictures, said the James Webb Space Telescope is the world’s premier space science observatory.

Webb will solve mysteries in our solar system, look beyond to distant worlds around other stars, and probe the mysterious structures and origins of our universe and our place in it.

Kyle Cooper

Anchor and reporter Kyle Cooper, has been with WTOP since 1992. Over those 25 years Kyle has worked as a street reporter, editor and anchor. Prior to WTOP Kyle worked at several radio stations in Indiana, and at the Indianapolis Star Newspaper.

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