The James Webb Space Telescope created history and finally arrived at its final destination. Now, it is set to orbit the Earth-sun Lagrange point 2 (L2). For the last 30 days, everyone was waiting impatiently for this moment. It successfully deployed all of its 18 mirrors on January 22. After a month-long journey, the telescope will need to cool down. It will observe the early universe including the first galaxies and many more.
In astronomy what we know before the discovery of the Hubble Telescope and what we know after the Hubble Telescope is contrasting. But that is going to be changed very soon. Because James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is not only bigger than the Hubble but also about 100 times more powerful. We, humans, are incapable to create a machine that can take us to our past and future but we have definitely created a machine that certainly can help us to look back in time. NASA created the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) in collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). The Hubble Space Telescope will be replaced by it. NASA Administrator James E. Webb, who served from 1961 to 1968 is honored with the telescope’s name. On December 25, 2021, JWST was launched aboard Ariane flight VA256.
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It takes 10,000 years for light from an object 10,000 light-years away to reach Earth. So, the further out in space you look, the further back in time you are looking. We can look back in time by detecting infrared light. Because infrared light has been traveling across space for as long as 13.5 billion years. Engineers optimized James Webb for specifically detecting the faint infrared light. The James Webb Space Telescope will cover the wavelengths between 0.6 micrometers to 28 micrometers covering most of the infrared region. Thereby it will provide images of the first galaxies formed and will observe unexplored planets around distant stars.
Webb’s mirrors are coated with a golf ball’s worth of pure gold, allowing them to reflect infrared light more effectively. The typical thickness of the gold is 1000 Angstroms. This means the coating is so thin that human hair is 1,000 times thicker! A thin layer of amorphous (non-crystalline) sio2 or glass, is deposited on top of the gold to protect it from scratches. In comparison to the Hubble Space Telescope, James Webb’s camera has a 15-fold broader field of vision. It captures 6.25 times more light and the sensors are highly sensitive to infrared light.
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Then there arises the problem of a cosmic element called Dust. It absorbs visible light and works like a barrier between our telescope and the stars or galaxies we are trying to observe. But Webb’s primary infrared watching capabilities will penetrate through the problem. Thus, opening a newer more detailed view of the cosmos that we have never seen before. Webb’s heat-sensitive eyesight is shielded by a tennis-court-sized kite-shaped-sun shield. It provides the telescope with the equivalent of 1 million SPF protection.
The plan of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will be to stare deeply at one patch of sky over an extended period. It will gather as much light and information as possible from the most distant and oldest galaxies. It may be feasible to determine when and how the Dark Ages ended using this information, but there are still many other crucial discoveries to be uncovered. Unraveling this scenario, for example, could aid in explaining the nature of dark matter, a mysterious kind of matter that accounts for nearly 80% of the universe’s mass. Webb will not only watch the far side of the universe but also watch inside our solar system. Webb will unravel many things about our solar system that we have never known. It will also give us amazing pictures of planets and may help us to find planet 9. Well if it exists.
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