Images of the universe captured by NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope attest to God’s “might” and “majesty,” according to Christian leaders. “[This] is why we want to study the sky, so we can see our God’s great splendor,” Rob Webb, an aerospace engineer with Answers in Genesis and a former NASA employee, said during a Facebook live session Tuesday.
The first photographs from the telescope were unveiled during a NASA news conference on Monday and Tuesday. The telescope is more powerful than the Hubble Space Telescope, which was deployed in the 1990s, and is capable of recording images that have never been seen by the human eye – not just because it is located above Earth’s atmosphere, but also because of its huge size.
Instead of it being a “replacement” for Hubble, scientists are calling it a successor. Hubble recorded images in visible (optical) light. The James Webb telescope will record images in the infrared spectrum. Distant objects, according to NASA, are located in this latter spectrum.
Among the images NASA released was a jaw-dropping one of galaxy cluster SMACS 0723 revealing thousands of galaxies in a small frame. The image included the “faintest objects ever observed in the infrared,” NASA said.
The cluster is approximately 4.6 billion light-years from Earth.
“The awesome, amazing images just continue to show the amazing works of our awesome God, of our awesome creator,” Webb said.
Webb acknowledged his worldview is different from that of NASA. In a news release, NASA said the image shows what the galaxy cluster looked like roughly “a billion years after the big bang.”
Christians should embrace astronomy even if they disagree with the mainstream secular worldview, Webb emphasized.
“God created the heavens and the earth – let’s remember to base all of our thinking, from the very beginning, Genesis 1:1 without compromise,” he said.
The size of the universe, he said, “just shows the awesome power of our amazing God.”
Webb quoted Psalm 19:1, which reads, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”
Other Christian leaders, too, celebrated the new images.
“What an amazing reminder of the majesty and power of our Creator God! Wow!” tweeted Rich Stearns, president emeritus of World Vision.
What an amazing reminder of the majesty and power of our Creator God! Wow!NASA unveils first images from James Webb Space Telescope https://t.co/ZzOxWSHAwn
— Rich Stearns (@RichStearns) July 12, 2022
“The heavens declare the glory of God: and the firmament sheweth his handywork,” tweeted Ryan. N Danker, director of the John Wesley Institute.
The heavens declare the glory of God: and the firmament sheweth his handywork. https://t.co/0apuiv3lLf
— Ryan N. Danker (@RyanNDanker) July 11, 2022
The telescope was developed by NASA in partnership with the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency.