Google Doodle Celebrates James Webb Telescope's Iconic First Images

Google has released a Google Doodle to mark the first proper images taken by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).

Google Doodles are the sometimes spontaneous changes to the Google logo on the search engine's website, usually to commemorate a significant historical figure or mark a current or past event.

The art style of each Doodle varies widely, but they tend to be designed to incorporate letters of the usual Google logo. Doodles may also be accompanied by a short animation.

Webb Google Doodle
A screenshot of the Google Doodle celebrating the first proper images from the James Webb Space Telescope. The telescope images have made global headlines this week. Google

Now, from July 12 to July 13, Google users should find that a Webb-themed Google Doodle has been launched, with the space telescope's mirror array and a cropped version of its now-famous First Deep Field image taking up both of the "O's" in the search engine's name.

The James Webb Space Telescope has made global headlines this week after NASA released its first suite of images since the telescope was launched back in December 2021.

The reveal began with the First Deep Field image on Monday—a long-exposure shot of a distant cluster of galaxies that NASA has called the deepest, sharpest infrared image of the distant universe ever taken.

That image was followed by shots of the Carina Nebula, Stephan's Quintet, and the Southern Ring Nebula.

“Cosmic Cliffs” in the Carina Nebula
“Cosmic Cliffs” in the Carina Nebula. What looks much like craggy mountains on a moonlit evening is actually the edge of a nearby, young, star-forming region NGC 3324 in the Carina Nebula. Captured in infrared light by the Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam) on NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope Inset), this image reveals previously obscured areas of star birth. Called the Cosmic Cliffs, the region is actually the edge of a gigantic, gaseous cavity within NGC 3324, roughly 7,600 light-years away. Nasa/WebbTelescope

"Today's Doodle features the deepest infrared photo of the universe ever taken as well as other initial images from the JWST," the Google Doodle description reads. "Thanks to images from the JWST, astronomers will now have the opportunity to study every phase of cosmic history, which spans a massive 13.5 billion years, and the mysteries beyond our galaxy.

"NASA aims to explore the early universe, multiple galaxies over time, the star life cycle and other worlds with Webb. The JWST will even be able to observe light from galaxies that formed 400 millions years after the big bang, and detect oxygen and organic molecules on other planets."

The Doodle's description also comes with an animation, in which Webb, complete with a smiley face, takes out a camera to take shots of the cosmos—ironic, since Webb itself is essentially one of the most advanced cameras ever made. The animation can be found here.

For anyone puzzled as to why the Doodle is not showing up for them, it may be because it is not available in certain regions. Almost all Google Doodles are region-locked, sometimes to a single country.

The Webb one is mostly limited to North America, parts of South America, Western Europe, some northern parts of Africa, South Africa, India, Oceania, and a handful of countries in between. Many in Central Africa, Scandinavia, East Asia, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe may not see it, according to Google data.

Other recent Google Doodles that were available in the U.S. include one on July 6 celebrating the 71st birthday of Charlie Hill, the first Native American stand-up comedian to appear on national television, and another on June 19 celebrating the annual U.S. federal holiday of Juneteenth that celebrates the liberation of Black enslaved people in the country.