James Webb Space Telescope

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) it’s designed mainly to conduct infrared astronomy, a very low spectrum. The intention behind this new space telescope is to succeed the Hubble telescope, which has been working for many decades and has the capacity to explore higher spectrum. The telescope is named after a past administrator of NASA, James E. Webb, who was ahead of the programs Gemini and Apollo.

This new telescope will be able to watch and study the past of stars and galaxys far away from here. Many scientists believe that we will increase our knowledge about the first stars and galaxys and maybe even study moments after the Big Bang, for example, and also study detailed atmospheree characterization of pontentially habitable planets.

The JWST was lauched on 25th December 2021 and arrived at his intended spot, the Lagrange 2(L2) on 24th January 2022. On this same date, the mirrors, shields and other componentes were also fully unfolded, to start the tests and do the first observations. Last week on 11th Feburary 2022, NASA posted that the JWST has finished the first phase of alignment.

Unlike the Hubble, we haven’t had any problems so far with the James Webb and all the componentes since to be working perfectly, like it was sad before. Since the launch of the telescope was delayed a lot, a simple problem just like it happened to Hubble, would cost millions of dollars. Even worse, nowadays we don’t have a vehicle like the Space Shuttle to reach James Webb and fix these problems.

The position of the telescope at Lagrange 2, which stays away approximately 1,500,000 km beyound Earth orbit around the Sun, and also far enough to be out of the moon and Earth shadow. At this point the JWST will orbit the Sun on the same path as Earth does, meaning that Earth will be constantly at the same distance from James Webb.

The mission goals are to:

  • To search for light from the first stars and galaxies that formed in the universe after the Big Bang;
  • To study galaxy formation and Evolution;
  • To understand star formation and planet formation;
  • To study planetary systems and the origins of life.

Author: Liviston Oliveira Gonçalves.

References:

  • www.spacetoday.com.br
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Webb_Space_Telescope

Liviston Oliveira Goncalves

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