NASA Unveils First Photos Taken by the James Webb Space Telescope

The first recognizable photos taken by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) have been published by NASA. The most capable space telescope ever created was launched into orbit on December 25, 2021. After a 30-day voyage, the telescope has finally unveiled its first images from space – including a view of its vast primary.

The First Images

The telescope was launched from South America’s Kourou, French Guiana spaceport. It caught a ride on a European Ariane 5 Rocket, and after 30 days is now approximately a million miles from Earth. The images received from the telescope show a nondescript star (HD 84406) in the constellation Ursa Major. Each image was created from light reflecting for each of JWST’s 18 main mirror segments. Image capture operations began on February 2nd, and the telescope was repositioned 156 times to capture images of 84406 HD. After 25 hours, JWST was able to locate the stars in all 18 mirror segments. The telescope was able to collect raw data worth 54 gigabytes, which included 1560 images taken by NIRCam’s 10 detectors. Deputy telescope scientist for JSWT and an astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute, Marshall Perrin commented that the initial search covered an area about the size of a full moon. He further added acquiring so much data on the first day required all of the telescope’s science operations and data processing systems on Earth to work smoothly. NASA also shared a ghostly ‘selfie’ of the primary mirror array with an instrument known as NIRCAM (Near-Infrared Camera).

The Future of JWST

NASA has commented that moving forward, the images from the telescope will only become clearer and more detail-oriented as the other three instruments will arrive and start capturing images. The first scientific images are expected to be delivered to the world in summer 2022. NASA has said that even though it is a big moment, as it confirms the functionality of the telescope, there is still a lot to be done in the future. The James Webb Space Telescope is an international program, led mostly by NASA alongside partners ESA (European Space Agency) and CSA (Canadian Space Agency). The world’s largest, most complex, and powerful space-based observatory ever built has a lot riding on it. If the commissioning ends as successfully as the launch, deployment, and early alignment, JWST is on its way to solving the many mysteries of the solar system. You can only imagine the things you can find out there.

Make an Obstacle Course for the Kids in the Living Room

Kids love to jump, crawl, swing, and more. Most of them know what an obstacle course is, especially since the world looks like one when you’re small. Having them race through homemade obstacle courses throughout your living room can definitely keep them busy.

Obstacle course in the living room - a fun way to entertain kids
Make an Obstacle Course for the Kids in the Living Room

The ideal obstacle course should be easy to construct and reconstruct, challenging, fun, and silly. However, it should also be safe — which is the most important of it all.

A Living Room Obstacle Course

You will need the following to build the ideal living room obstacle course for your kids.

  • Items to jump over, from, and onto. These can be interlocking foam mats or tumbling mats. Ropes, cushions, pillows, toys, and stable pieces of furniture.
  • Things that the kids can crawl under and/or through. If your kids don’t have a play tunnel, you can always set up a sheet for them to crawl under — army style.
  • Items that can be thrown. Making a station where you have to aim and throw things can be fun and it can also help the kids develop their throwing skills at a younger age.
  • Balancing items. These can be homemade balance beams if you don’t have real ones. You can designate certain items on the floor of the living room as safe zones while the rest is lava.

How to Play

Kids jumping on the living room couch
Make an Obstacle Course for the Kids in the Living Room

This is where you can get creative and make up your own rules. Build a few different stations with their own challenges. The kids can help with this part, depending on their age.

Adding challenges as the kids continuing playing in the living room can make it more exciting. If the kids seem to master certain obstacles, you can add different aspects to the different sections.

Incorporating your imagination can also make it more exciting for the kids and adding a points system can also be intriguing.