TechnologyNASA will unveil the James Webb Space Telescope's 1st...

NASA will unveil the James Webb Space Telescope’s 1st science photos this week. Here’s how to watch.

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After half a year of in-space commissioning work, NASA will release the first science images from its next-generation space observatory in July. Here’s how you can tune in to the historic event for free.

The James Webb Space Telescope carries four cutting-edge instruments designed to examine everything from solar system objects to distant, old galaxies formed in the early universe only a few hundred million years after the Big Bang. The instruments are roughly halfway through their mode checks as the observatory continues clicking through milestones smoothly in deep space after its launch on Dec. 25, 2021. 

The main image release event will take place on July 12 at 10:30 a.m. EDT (1430 GMT). You can watch all the excitement here at Space.com courtesy of NASA or directly through the agency’s website (opens in new tab). Additional events will take place later in the day and on July 13.

Live updates: NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope mission

RelatedHow the James Webb Space Telescope works in pictures

The James Webb Space Telescope will be able to see the first stars and galaxies that emerged in the universe after the Big Bang.

Artist’s impression of the James Webb Space Telescope. (Image credit: ESA/ATG medialab)

Tuesday, July 12

9:45 a.m. EDT / 1345 GMT: Live coverage of opening remarks from NASA leadership and Webb mission personnel will air here at Space.com, as well as on NASA TV, the NASA app, and the agency’s website (opens in new tab).

10:30 a.m. EDT / 1430 GMT: Live coverage of the image release will air here at Space.com, as well as on NASA TV, the NASA app, and the agency’s website (opens in new tab). The public also can watch live on Facebook (opens in new tab)Twitter (opens in new tab)YouTube (opens in new tab)Twitch (opens in new tab), and Daily Motion (opens in new tab).

12 p.m. EDT / 1600 GMT: NASA will hold a joint media briefing with its partners at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center near Baltimore. The briefing will stream live here at Space.com, as well as on NASA TV, the NASA app, and the agency’s website (opens in new tab). Participants include:

  • Eric Smith, Webb program scientist and Astrophysics Division chief scientist, NASA Headquarters
  • Knicole Colón, Webb deputy project scientist for exoplanet science, NASA Goddard
  • René Doyon, principal investigator for the Canadian Near-Infrared Imager and Slitless Spectrograph, University of Montreal
  • Christopher Evans, Webb project scientist, ESA
  • Klaus Pontoppidan, Webb project scientist, STScI
  • Jane Rigby, Webb operations project scientist, NASA Goddard
  • Amber Straughn, Webb deputy project scientist for communications, NASA Goddard

Wednesday, July 13

At 3 p.m. EDT (1900 GMT), a NASA Science Live show will air. Called Webb’s First Full-Color Images Explained, it will air live on the NASA Science Live website (opens in new tab), as well as YouTube (opens in new tab)Facebook (opens in new tab), and Twitter (opens in new tab). Viewers can submit questions on social media using the hashtag #UnfoldtheUniverse or by leaving a comment in the chat section of the Facebook or YouTube stream.

A simultaneous live social media event will take place in Spanish on NASA en español YouTube (opens in new tab)Facebook (opens in new tab), and Twitter (opens in new tab) accounts.

Editor’s note: This story was updated on July 7 to include additional details about NASA’s plans for July 12. Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace (opens in new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) and on Facebook (opens in new tab)

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: community@space.com.

Elizabeth Howell

Elizabeth Howell, Ph.D., is a contributing writer for Space.com (opens in new tab) since 2012. As a proud Trekkie and Canadian, she tackles topics like spaceflight, diversity, science fiction, astronomy and gaming to help others explore the universe. Elizabeth’s on-site reporting includes two human spaceflight launches from Kazakhstan, and embedded reporting from a simulated Mars mission in Utah. She holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc (opens in new tab). in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, and a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada’s Carleton University. Her latest book, NASA Leadership Moments, is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday.

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