The First Image from JWST is ASTOUNDING!

To say I’m amazed at this photo would be an understatement. To say I’m amazed at the work that went into producing the James Webb Space Telescope would also be an understatement. This is the culmination of decades of work and collaboration among the scientists and researchers under the JWST program. And this is only the first image! I can’t wait to see what other exciting discoveries JWST will make in its lifetime.

JWST’s First Deep Field image of galaxy cluster SMACS 0723 reveals thousands of galaxies and structures. (Source)

This slice of the vast universe covers a patch of sky approximately the size of a grain of sand held at arm’s length by someone on the ground.

NASA, July 12, 2022

Read ^^^ that ^^^ quote again. Like what!? I love this about our universe (and indeed our world) the more you zoom in on something (either big or small) the more is revealed to you. It feels like a fractal of sorts.

This telescope is the most advanced telescope humanity has and it will let is see further back in time to see when the first stars, blackholes, and galaxies formed. It will answer questions we’ve been asking for a long time. It will answer questions we didn’t even think to ask. And it will have us ask questions we never thought to ask.

Great discoveries are not found by saying “Eureka! I found it!” but rather by saying, “Oh, that’s interesting. I wasn’t expecting that.”

Learn More:

Scientific American: “This is the first image from the James Webb Space Telescope — and it’s absolutely stunning” (Source)

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Coronavirus: Why It Hits High-Income Countries Hardest

When I’m not working on my own podcast, I’m often listening to other podcasts. Here’s a brief podcast episode recommendation from me. It comes from the March 16 episode of Bill Nye’s “Science Rules” podcast.

This episode features a fascinating discussion between Bill Nye and Dr. Siddhartha Mukerjee (MD/Immunologist/Virologist) about the counterintuitive data for why high-income countries are being hit the hardest by covid-19. Some of countries discussed include the U.S., Mexico, Thailand, Nigeria, and Japan.

In short, a population’s immune’s system response/defense (either successful or not) is a combination of things such as whether or not the population has experienced a similar disease that gives the immune system a better chance at fighting covid. However, other factors can contribute to a countries success (or lack thereof) with covd-19. For example, does the country practice “warehousing” of older citizens? That is, do old people live in assisted living facilities all grouped together or do they live in inter-generational homes with their families? In the case of the U.S., most elderly citizens are grouped together in these types of facilities and as such elderly citizens make up a high proportion of covid deaths.

In summary, there’s no one factor that we can point to for why covid-19 has caused more destruction, devastation, and death in one country versus another, because it is a combination of factors. However, by understanding which factors have contributed to it will help us understand how to better combat the next pandemic.

In the meantime, remember to wash your hands, watch your distance, wear a mask, and (when you can) get vaccinated!