The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is the most powerful space telescope. It was scheduled to launch on July 12, 2022. And will be used to study everything from the origins of our universe to the evolution of galaxies. JWST will also be used to study planets beyond our solar system, including those that might be capable of supporting life. In short term, the primary purpose was to explore the space.
JWST is a joint project of NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). It is named after James E. Webb, who served as NASA’s second administrator from 1961 to 1968.
Launch from Kourou, French Guiana
The telescope will establish on an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou, French Guiana. JWST will be placed in an orbit about 1.5 million kilometers (930,000 miles) from Earth. And there, it will evolve and start its mission.
JWST will be the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope and the Spitzer Space Telescope. It will have a primary mirror that is 6.5 meters (21.3 feet) in diameter. That will make it more than twice as large as Hubble’s 2.4-meter (7.9-foot) mirror. The larger mirror will allow JWST to collect more light than any previous telescope. Therefore, it will enable it to see farther back in time and to study objects in greater detail.
Four Science Instruments
JWST will have four science instruments: the Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam), the Near-Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec), the Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI), and the Fine Guidance Sensor/Near InfraRed Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (FGS/NIRISS).
The telescope will also have a tunable filter system that will allow scientists to select specific wavelengths of light to study.
JWST’s primary mirror is made up of 18 hexagonal segments that work together as a single mirror. The segments are made of beryllium, a lightweight metal that is highly resistant to heat. The mirror will be coated with a thin layer of gold, which reflects near-infrared light very efficiently. The mirrors are being fabricated by Northrop Grumman in Redondo Beach, California.
JWST’s science instruments will be mounted on a platform at the back of the telescope. The platform will keep the instruments cool by radiating heat into space. The telescope’s observatory module, which houses the science instruments, is being built by Airbus Defence and Space in Stevenage, United Kingdom.
JWST will Observe Light from Stars and Galaxies
JWST will be able to observe light from stars and galaxies that are too far away and too faint to be seen by the Hubble Space Telescope. The telescope will also be able to see through the dusty clouds that block our view of star formation in the Milky Way. James Webb Space Telescope will allow scientists to study the first stars and galaxies that formed in the early universe, as well as the planets around other stars.