Timeline with 2 circles indicating James Webb Space Telescope and Hubble Space Telescope, and braille labels.

How far will the James Webb Space Telescope see back in time?

1. Timeline with 2 circles indicating James Webb Space Telescope and Hubble Space Telescope, and braille labels.

Title: Seeing back into the cosmos

Image description: Graphic illustrating the age of the universe in billions of years relative to how far back human telescope technology can see. The information in the tactile graphic is formatted on a horizontal number line that is logarithmic, with the Big Bang on the left at zero. At roughly 400 thousand years, the cosmic microwave background appears. James Webb Space Telescope can see back to 0.3 billion years when the first stars begin to appear. Between 0.3 and 1 billion years old, the first galaxies are forming. The Hubble Space Telescope can see back roughly 1 billion years. On the far right of the timeline is the modern universe at 13.7 billion years old.

In the original diagram, there is additional information embedded in the background of the number line. In this representation, time is shown as a triangle with the smallest point at the Big Bang. Until the microwave background happens, space is represented by solid orange. Between the microwave background and the time of the first stars appearing is the Dark Age represented by black. There is a thin line of purple, followed by the first stars appearing. This is the beginning of a visual progression over the course of the first stars forming into the modern universe where galaxies are forming tight clusters. When the first stars begin to form, light is diffused progressively aggregating into tight light clusters. At the time of our modern universe, galaxies are bright and forming spiraling shapes.

Download Graphic

ZIP folder contains files for producing tactile graphics on 8.5 x 11-inch paper, landscape:

  • PRNs for ViewPlus Columbia / Delta, APH PixBlaster, IRIE BrailleTrac / BrailleSheet;
  • PDFs for Swell, Microcapsule or PIAF;
  • Reference PDFs with corresponding large print text (not for tactile production).

Printing Instructions and Supported Embossers

How to unzip/uncompress: Windows 10, Windows 8.1, MacOS.

Source: How Far Will Webb See? from Webb vs Hubble Telescope, NASA website.

Related articles: James Webb Space Telescope in final stretch, BBC News; Sharp pictures! James Webb Space Telescope completes alignment in huge milestone, Space.com.

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