How Far Into the Past Can Our Telescopes See?

Every time we point a telescope at the sky we're looking into the past. This chart shows how far we can go. Right now, Hubble's Ultra Deep Field IR can see as far as 480 million years after the Big Bang.

The James Webb Space Telescope will allow us to see 200 million years after the Big Bang. In a cosmic scale, that's almost like looking at the beginning of all this starstuff we call the Universe. I wonder if we will ever be able to get to the point of watching the Big Bang itself. If that can be watched, anyway. [NASA]