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Webb’s infrared view of a face-on spiral galaxy

M74, as seen by Webb and Hubble combined
Click for original image.

Using the James Webb Space Telescope, astronomers have produced a false-color infrared view of M74, a face-on spiral galaxy located 32 million light years away.

The montage above shows that image to the right, with a Hubble optical image to the left. In the center both images are combined.

The addition of crystal-clear Webb observations at longer wavelengths will allow astronomers to pinpoint star-forming regions in the galaxies, accurately measure the masses and ages of star clusters, and gain insights into the nature of the small grains of dust drifting in interstellar space.

Because infrared can see through cold dust, it provides a much sharper view of this galaxy’s central regions.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!


From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.


  • Kevin Smith

    How do we know that all these great new images from JWST and other new telescopes aren’t just something that some NASA employee created in Photoshop? Is there any evidence they provide for the raw data and how it is tied to the images? I hear terms like image enhancement, combining data from multiple telescopes, etc.

    Is there any third-party audit of the process for converting raw data into images?

  • Kevin Smith: Excellent question. The bottom line is that Webb looks only in infrared wavelengths, so all its images are always false color and enhanced. The raw data however is supposed to be made available for any to review, though it might not be accessibly immediately or easily by the general public. If you want it however I am sure you could obtain it.

    The real question is this: What would be the motive here for the data to be falsified? In the specific images of galaxies that I have posted, there is no motive. The data itself is ground-breaking. The only motive is to make it understandable and interpretable by the scientists.

    If you read my website regularly, you will know that I am no naive commentator of modern science. If for a second I believed this data was faked, I would say so immediately.

  • Kevin Smith

    What would be the motive? $$ More government funding for their multi-billion dollar over budget telescopes.

    Why do we need these telescopes? Who cares how or where stars form?

    If Elon Musk wants to go to the Moon or Mars, let him pay for it with his own money.

    I’m not saying that if we didn’t fund these boondoggles, we wouldn’t have starving children in the world, but it is still a waste of taxpayer money with no real tangible benefit to anyone except for the scientists that are part of the taxpayer funded programs.

  • Kevin Smith observed:

    “I’m not saying that if we didn’t fund these boondoggles, we wouldn’t have starving children in the world, but it is still a waste of taxpayer money with no real tangible benefit to anyone except for the scientists that are part of the taxpayer funded programs.”

    Perhaps ‘waste’ isn’t the word, as that implies expenditure with no useful gain. At the very least, the public gets pretty pictures, so that’s something. And a fair bet some children will wonder how we can build better telescopes, or develop the tech to actually get there.

    True, government-funding of pure science efforts is a relatively recent development. This used to be done by wealthy patrons, usually with an eye to making a profit, or at the least gaining social stature from their beneficiaries efforts.

    Societies and individuals alike must look far down the road to get an idea of what to do right now. I’d much rather pay for ‘boondoggles’ like Webb, than all of the Government segregation programs.

  • GaryMike


    “… it is still a waste of taxpayer money with no real tangible benefit…”

    Subjective. I taught astronomy for 25 years. Made my early living doing so. No one could eat any of it. They all wanted to consume it. A waste of their time and their money?

    Life, Liberty & the pursuit of Happiness.

    Those are tangible benefits, are they not?

  • Star Bird

    Somewhere out there is the Jupiter 2 s till looking to find Alpha Cenrari

  • Edward

    Kevin Smith asked: “Why do we need these telescopes? Who cares how or where stars form?

    Astronomy, physics, and science in general help answer some of man’s basic questions: Who are we? Where did we come from? Why are we here? And: Where are we going? Science even helps with the questions: What do we want? What’s for lunch? And: tennis, anyone?

    In asking and answering these questions, we have discovered how the world around us works and found ways to make it work in our favor. Agriculture, manufacturing, and transportation are a few of the benefits we have gained from seeking the answers. We grow food to keep billions of people alive, but a few thousand years ago there were only a few million people supported by the Earth. We discovered the causes and cures for diseases. We can predict weather with great accuracy, and we can declare heat emergencies in states that have failed to keep up with the electrical demands it has placed on its population (governance is not science but allows for the use or misuse of what science teaches us — California’s government misuses it). Our lives are much more prosperous, due to science.

    Thanks to astronomy, we now know that we are not the center of the universe (although I still claim that honor, despite what others say), that God did not make a perfect universe, that the Milky Way is made of stars rather than spilt milk, and that the universe is much more mysterious than we had believed or could imagine, up until a century or so ago.

    Our lives are greatly enhanced by knowing the universe better.

    On the other hand, most government programs cause more harm than good, even to the point of paying people to not work — to not be productive — putting a drag on the prosperity of all of us. Government thinks that it does good — the greater good — to “give a man a fish,” but that man comes back tomorrow for another fish and often demands better or more than yesterday’s gift, further reducing the prosperity of all of us. As we have seen over the past two years, more people join him in expecting others to do all the fishing and handing out their hard-earned bounty, even further degrading the prosperity of all of us.

    Some greater good.

    If only those sponges would do their own fishing, the rest of us would have more time to relax, more time to find better ways to fish, more time to produce other beneficial goods and services, and more time to study the universe to better understand it and ourselves, all of which make us more prosperous.

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