The great James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has captured the imagination of the scientific community and space enthusiasts alike. As the largest and most powerful space telescope ever built, It will change our understanding of the universe. Here are some amazing James Webb Telescope Facts that you need to know:
Fact 1: The JWST is the largest space telescope ever built
The JWST is massive, weighing in at 6.5 tons, and is about the size of a tennis court when fully deployed. The size of this great telescope is about 22 meters by 12 meters. According to NASA, Its primary mirror has a diameter of 6.5 meters (21 feet 4 inches) across, which is more than twice the size of the Hubble Space Telescope’s primary mirror.
Fact 2: It is an infrared telescope
Unlike Hubble, which primarily observes visible and ultraviolet light, the JWST is an infrared telescope. This means it can see through dust and gas clouds to reveal objects. The objects that are hidden from view at visible wavelengths. For example the earliest galaxies in the universe and the formation of stars and planets.
Fact 3: The JWST has a unique orbit
The JWST orbits around the L2 point, which is a gravitationally stable location in space located 1.5 million kilometers from Earth. This orbit allows the telescope to remain in a fixed position relative to Earth as it observes the universe, and provides a stable environment for its sensitive instruments.
Fact 4: It took over 20 years to develop and launch
The idea for the JWST was first proposed in the mid-1990s. Around 30 years ago, STScI Director Riccardo Giacconi urged the team to “think about the next major mission beyond Hubble.” Before the launch of Hubble, an STScI workshop developed a mission design in September 1989. The project has gone through numerous design iterations and funding challenges since then. The telescope finally launches on December 25, 2021, from ESA’s launch site at Kourou in French Guiana.
Fact 5: The goal of JSWT – Study the earliest galaxies and stars
One of the major James Webb Telescope facts is that it is the leading scientific goal of the JWST is to study the earliest galaxies that formed in the universe, shortly after the Big Bang. By observing these galaxies, scientists hope to gain insights into how the universe evolved over time. The telescope studies star and planet formation and searches for life on other worlds.
Fact 6: The lifespan of JSWT is at least 10 years
The JWST is designed to operate for at least 10 years, but it is expected to continue operating for much longer. Its instruments and systems have been designed to withstand the harsh conditions of space, and its unique orbit will help to ensure its longevity.
Fact 7: The JWST is a collaborative effort
The JWST is a collaborative effort between NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). The project has involved over 300 universities, organizations, and companies across 29 U.S. states and 14 countries.
Fact 8: The JWST will work with the Hubble Space Telescope
Although the JWST is much more powerful than the Hubble Space Telescope, the two telescopes will collaborate to explore the universe. The Hubble will continue to observe visible and ultraviolet light, while the JWST will focus on infrared light.
Fact 9: The JWST has already produced stunning images
Within a few months, the JWST started producing some stunning images of the universe. These images include a detailed look at the “Pillars of Creation” in the Eagle Nebula, and a spectacular view of the galaxy cluster Abell 2744.
JWST discovered the most distant galaxies in mid-December. The telescope proved its ability to observe the early universe with this milestone. The telescope discovered four 13.4 billion-year-old galaxies, which existed when the universe was 350 million years old. JWST’s Near Infrared Spectrograph found these galaxies (JADES).
The James Webb Space Telescope is a remarkable achievement of human invention and technological prowess. With its advanced capabilities, it promises to transform our understanding of the universe and help us answer some of the most fundamental questions about our place in the cosmos. The JWST continues to gather data and produce stunning images. As a result, it is sure to capture the imagination of people around the world.
Published by: Sky Headlines