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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

James Webb Telescope to discover the origin of the Universe

On Dec. 25, 2021, at 7:20 a.m. EST, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope was launched from the European Space Agency’s facility at Kourou in French Guiana, on board an Arianespace Ariane 5 rocket. The $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope—NASA’s largest and most powerful space science telescope—will investigate the cosmos to unearth the history of the Universe, from the Big Bang to the formation of alien planets and beyond. It will be the largest and most powerful space science telescope ever built. It is one of NASA’s Great Observatories, a collection of massive space instruments that include the Hubble Space Telescope, which allows us to view deep into the cosmos.
The Webb telescope was built to investigate a critical period of early cosmic history known to astronomers as the dark ages. Astronomers will be able to better investigate supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies, as well as planets orbiting other stars in our galaxy, with the help of the telescope. According to cosmologists, the first stars emerged when the universe was only approximately 100 million years old; as of today, the Universe is 13.8 billion years old. According to astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope, the farthest and earliest galaxy they have ever observed dates back to a time when the Universe was younger, 400 million years after the Big Bang. This remarkable multinational collaboration between NASA, the ESG and the Canadian Space Agency resulted in the construction of the James Webb Space Telescope.
According to NASA, the JWST involved approximately 300 institutions, organizations and businesses from 29 different states in the United States and 14 different countries. The James Webb Space Telescope is scheduled to operate for ten years according to the European Space Agency. A Lagrange point is a gravitationally stable place in space, and the James Webb Space Telescope traveled over a million miles to reach it. It took 30 days for the telescope to reach its permanent home. On Jan. 24, 2022, the Hubble Space Telescope reached L2, the second sun-Earth Lagrange point. L2 is a location in space near Earth that is directly opposite the sun; by using this orbit, the telescope will be able to remain in alignment with the Earth as it orbits the sun. Several other space telescopes, including the Herschel Space Telescope and the Planck Space Observatory, have used it as a launch site in the past. As part of its solar orbit, Webb will be stationed in an orbit around Lagrangian Point 2, which is approximately one million miles from the Earth and will maintain a steady location relative to our planet. This deep-space vantage point is critical to Webb’s operations because heat from the Sun or the Earth can cause its extremely sensitive infrared instruments to become unusable. With a sunshield the size of a tennis court between it and us, Webb will always have its back to us. Due to its technical limitation, the telescope is unable to capture planets closer to Earth but it is designed to photograph far away planets, asteroids, galaxies, black holes and the sun. Webb will require another five to six months of calibration and commissioning work before it is ready to conduct scientific observations. For the time being, NASA, ESA and CSA are looking into what Solar System objects might be visible to Webb around the time it is ready to conduct scientific observations.