sci22006 — Announcement
Launch of the ESASky and ESA/Webb Collaboration
6 October 2022
-By Bethany Downer and Deborah Baines-
We are so pleased to announce that the ESA/Webb and ESASky teams have collaborated again to incorporate the spectacular Webb images featured on the ESA/Webb website into the ESASky application (as is already done for ESA/Hubble images).
ESASky is a web-based app that helps users to interact with outreach astronomical images and datasets taken in different bands of light, obtained by ESA missions. As this collaboration sought to harness this unique educational tool to engage with a broader audience, users who are interested in the more detailed science behind Webb’s wide variety of breathtaking images can now also enjoy data-driven tools in ESASky! This includes finding Webb's science-ready archival datasets used in the public outreach images, or overlaying ESA's Gaia catalogue on top of a cluster image taken by Webb to better understand the movements and characteristics of stars in a given cluster. The ESA/Webb outreach image pages now link to the appropriate locations on the ESASky portal.
Webb’s very popular new images are known for their beauty, fine detail, and resolution; however, ensuring the quality of the outreach images was preserved once they were imported into the ESASky app has been an important priority. While the ESA/Webb outreach image archive is only just beginning to become populated with awe-inspiring images, all new additions to the archive will continue to be fully tagged with coordinate metadata by the ESA/Webb team. They will be featured in the freely accessible ESASky virtual planetarium as they become available in the coming months and years!
Science teachers and educators can now also use Webb outreach images in ESASky in their virtual classrooms to take their students on a virtual cosmic tour. This is somewhat similar to a planetarium presentation, but with the celestial objects of their choosing and breathtaking Webb images.
Scientists looking for Webb's archival science-ready data of their target objects in ESASky can also determine if outreach images of the objects have been released by ESA/Webb. These can be used in public talks, journal papers, or press releases related to their results.
Future outreach images published by ESA/Webb will be integrated into the ESASky portal as they become available. Stay tuned!
ESA/Webb Chief Science Communications Officer
About the Announcement