I heard that images could contain malware - is that true?
Yes, it is true. In fact, there is a recent report that malware is circulating that uses images from the James Webb telescope. The images are popular online, making them a lure used by cybercriminals.
In this particular scheme, an email goes out with an alert declaring a new image is available to see. When targets select the attachment, they unknowingly download malware that can spy on their usage remotely. https://oicanadian.com/malware-hidden-in-photos-of-james-webb/
The takeaway is that cybercriminals use whatever is in front of society to deliver malware. During the pandemic, it was phishing campaigns about the pandemic and vaccines. Now, online criminals have adapted to something different - a popular space telescope and its images.
No matter the subject matter of an email, it is important not to select any attachment or link. If you want to view images from a third party, don't wait for them to come to your in-box, but research and find them from a trusted source…not the easy source.