The world continues to be stunned by the deepest infrared images of the Universe, captured by NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope. The image takes humans on a time travel billions of years into the past, observing stars and galaxies which have already come and gone before their light reached the powerful telescope.
Besides the clusters of constellations and different worlds in the one iconic image, NASA also released images of “Cosmic Cliffs” which are actually a star-forming region in the Carina Nebula, and astrophotographs of Jupiter. Yet again, humans have been left awestruck by the complexity and magnitude of the Universe, but also inspired to make some lighthearted and hilarious memes about the James Webb Space Telescope.
10 Just An Eighties Background
While the effort behind building a complex and sophisticated telescope is appreciated by all, the photo of the distant universe looks suspiciously familiar, especially to those who love eighties movies. The aesthetic of this era was a funky one, with lots of galaxy backgrounds in school and posed photo shoots.
Nobody could actually guess that the photo depicts galaxy cluster SMACS 0723, and what it looked like 4.6 billion years back. People joke that NASA thinks they’re being clever by giving to them an old photo backdrop.
9 Hubble Off, James Webb On
The Hubble Telescope’s released imagery was extraordinary in itself, but the James Webb photos surpassed even that level of genius. Redditors likened looking at the two images by the telescopes to Spidey putting on a pair of spectacles and seeing something clearly for the first time.
Both Hubble and James Webb were products of extreme brilliance and the sheer will of the human mind, but the clarity and extra detailing that the fresh images provide are unbelievable. Webb can see ‘baby galaxies’ or the first galaxies that were ever formed, while Hubble saw ‘toddler galaxies.’
8 Camera Quality In Outer Space
The world remains amazed at what human innovation and determination can achieve. The precision and clarity of the Webb astrophotography is quite astonishing, yet people wonder why security cameras and camera traps remain as rudimentary as they are.
The quality of street cameras could do with an upgrade, since the James Webb telescope manages to capture these snaps in the Earth-Sun L2 Lagrange point, which is 1.5 million KM away from our planet!
7 Doctor, Is That You?
The easiest connection to make between Webb’s photos and pop culture are the Doctor and the Daleks, who have been traversing similar outer space-scapes since the Sixties. For Whovians, the Webb images were a real delight because it took them right back to the sci-fi mainstay.
They’d like to imagine that a little zoom into the photos might bring to their attention the flying blue box with the Doctor and his companion inside.
6 The Depths Of Your Inbox/ The Universe
Watching galaxies that existed 13 and a half billion years ago is wondrous, but many compared the complexities of outer space to the jumble of links and Slack threads.
Just like the stars and galaxies in the images overlapped each other (a deep field image which was a composite of 12.5 hours worth of infrared images), people can compare their fruitless search for the one relevant link or email through hordes of unnecessary messages in their official inboxes.
5 How It Started Vs. How It’s Going
Humans have always looked for meaning and desired to gain knowledge about the great beyond, as is visible in this bronze and gold plate, dated to circa 1600 BCE, which depicts the sun, moons, stars, the Milky Way, and several other space oddities in the way that people could back then.
Today’s cutting-edge James Webb Telescope boasts a wavelength coverage of 0.6 – 28.5 microns, and the ability to literally see billions of years into the past which shows just how far civilization has come.
4 Just A Granite Top
Comparing the now iconic photograph to everyday objects has become a hobby for meme-ers and netizens, and the most common comparison is the stars to good ol’ granite kitchen tops which have glittery specks embedded in them.
Instagrammers have gone as far as to say that it’s all a conspiracy, and “flat space” was the next big trick up the government’s sleeve. It’s easy to forget that the image only captures the equivalent of a grain of sand of the Universe in it.
3 What We See Vs. What The Aliens See
There is pure beauty in the sliver of the Universe that humans have managed to see, courtesy of NASA and the Webb Telescope, filled with celestial bodies, long-gone stars, and the cradle of galaxies, but scientists are sure that someone out there would be watching our planet too.
Ironically, these aliens (terrifying or not) might not see the same appeal on Earth since pollution and climate change are serious and real issues today. The meme and the images elicit a chuckle but also force humans to look inwards as well, despite the gorgeous photos of the big beautiful sky.
2 Webb Can Like… Get It
In one of the most clever memes about the two telescopes that changed the game for astrophotography and actually mapping the Universe, humans can be seen abandoning the famed Hubble for the new and improved Webb which gives crystal clear images of celestial clouds, dust, and stars.
John Christensen has designed an interactive tool that compares the photographs taken by both telescopes, showing how the bigger-sized mirrors and infrared waves of Webb achieve photos that are much clearer and more stunning.
1 Voldemort In Space
The craggy, cosmic cliffs out in space are marvelous to gaze at, but some eagle-eyed Instagrammers spotted some… alarming shapes in the photos of the Carina Nebula when they zoomed in.
One particular mountain looked suspiciously like Lord Voldemort, both in his initial and final forms in the Harry Potter movies. The shape was weirdly reminiscent of Voldemort when he was behind Quirrell’s head and then when he came back into his own body in the Goblet of Fire.
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