AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – New images of the distant universe from the James Webb Space Telescope have ties that are much closer to home.

UMass Professor of Astronomy Alexandra Pope is going to collect data and she’ll be one of the first researchers in the country to get that kind of access.

Her predominant focus is supermassive black holes and how they co-evolve with stars. She said the UMass astronomy community was blown away when they saw these images released from the $10 billion dollar observatory.

The images show hundreds of thousands of galaxies, allowing scientists to see much farther distances in the universe. Professor Pope told 22News how she plans to study it.

“We can use that Spectroscopy to measure exactly how fast central supermassive black holes are creating material, how fast stars are forming, and what that effect has on the galaxy. The temperatures and dust in the galaxy,” Pope said.

She said they plan to start making observations this summer and might have some findings by this fall at the earliest. Three other UMass astronomers will also be working on projects using this new telescope.