The James Webb Space Telescope was launched Saturday morning (25th) from a European Space Agency (ESA) base in French Guiana.
James Webb is the new space telescope from NASA. It’s basically a large space observatory that can see things – like stars, galaxies, and exoplanets – very far out in space. Sue is named after a NASA supervisor from the 1960s.
James E. Webb was a key figure at NASA who was tasked with carrying out the Apollo project to take astronauts to the Moon – Image: NASA
The infrared telescope costs approximately $9 billion and has a mass of 6.5 tons. After entering orbit, it will gradually relax until it reaches the size of a tennis court. This process is expected to take 13 days.
James Webb is so large that it needs to be bent to fit the front of the launch rocket – Photo: Chris John/NASA
Its destination is in an orbit of 1.5 million km from Earth. This is nearly four times the distance from our planet to the Moon. Despite being so far away, the telescope will always be aligned with the Earth.
Differences from Hubble
The first is that it is larger than its predecessor so it can capture more light and see farther. The primary mirror has a diameter of 6.5 meters (about three times larger than the Hubble mirror).
The James Webb Space Telescope’s 18-section mirror will capture infrared light from some of the first galaxies that formed – Image: NASA/DESIREE STOVER
The other reason is that James Webb can only see in infrared light. This type of radiation is barely visible to the Hubble telescope, which can only see a limited range of it.
Since the infrared wavelength is longer than others, it’s as if James Webb would be able to look far back — and see the first galaxies that formed in the early universe.
The goal is for the telescope to have a useful life of more than 10 years. This service life is limited by the amount of fuel used to maintain orbit and proper instrument operation. Since it is too far from the ground, it is impossible to repair the web if there is a defect, As it happened with Hubble.
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