Webb space telescope

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Space telescopes are space probes, which are used for observing planets and other celestial bodies.

Webb Space Telescope

The James Webb Observatory was launched into space on December 25, 2021.

Webb space telescope
Space telescope James Webb. Credit: web “esa.int”

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is a space observatory programmed to orbit the Sun in order to study the sky in infrared frequency.

JWST has been a joint project of NASA, ESA, and the Canadian Space Agency.

The Webb Space Telescope will be in a solar orbit, 1.5 billion kilometers from Earth.

After a long wait, finally, on Christmas 2021, it was time for the launch of this modern telescope, which has cost more than 10 billion dollars.

Webb space telescope
Launch of the Webb space telescope. Credit: Agencia SINC

The telescope was mounted on a European Space Agency Ariane 5 rocket from the Arianespace launch complex, located near Kourou, French Guiana.

The joint team of NASA, the European and Canadian space agency have already authorized the execution of the launch scheduled to take off on Christmas Eve, at 12:20 GMT on December 24, 2021. NASA will broadcast the launch live through from NASA TV.

Why is the Webb telescope more powerful than the Hubble telescope?

Since April 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope has been the largest device astronomers have had to observe the universe. Now the largest will be the Webb telescope.

Hubble’s “eye” measures 2.40 meters. Webb’s receiving mirror will measure 6.50 meters, with a surface area seven times that of Hubble.

The Webb telescope was launched into space on December 24, 2021. Due to its large size, it was folded up. It will take a month to fully deploy. Afterwards, it will take about 6 months for the robotic and artificial intelligence system to proceed with their calibration. After this delicate work, it will be possible to start receiving the beautiful images that this technological marvel of the 21st century captures.

The Hubble Space Telescope describes a circular orbit around the Earth, at a height of 593 km above sea level.

The Webb Space Telescope will revolve around the Sun, at an average distance of more than 1,500 million kilometers. Very far from Earth, which will result in a greater vision, but will make it impossible to go up to repair it in case something goes wrong.

What new observations will the Webb telescope send?

The expectations of astronomers are innumerable. But one of the most important is the information obtained about exoplanets: existence in them of atmosphere, oxygen, water, life.

The Webb telescope will capture waves of ultraviolet radiation, allowing it to receive images of the early Universe, possibly images as little as 300 million years after the Big Bang.

Why was this telescope named after James Webb?

James Webb was born in 1906 in a small town in North Carolina.
At the University of North Carolina he received a bachelor’s degree in education in 1928. From 1930 to 1932, he was a second lieutenant in the US Marine Corps, serving as an active duty pilot.
He also studied law at George Washington University from 1934 to 1936 and was admitted to the District of Columbia Bar Association.

James Webb
James Webb was the great promoter of NASA. Credit: Wikipedia

During World War II he was re-enlisted in the Marine Corps, where he led an aviation command and control unit.

At the end of the war, he returned to Washington and worked in the Office of Management and Budget, from 1949 to 1952.

Almost 10 years later, in February 1961, John F. Kennedy put him in the most important position in the US space agency by appointing him administrator of NASA, in the middle of the space race between the USA and the USSR.

He was in charge of the Apollo Program and, thanks to his ability to raise funds and the efficiency of his management, he achieved the dream of a human being on the Moon.

For seven years after May 25, 1961, James Webb maneuvered for NASA in Washington. As a longtime connoisseur of the headquarters of the American government, he built a network of political ties that enlisted the support and resources to carry out the Apollo moon landing on July 20, 1969.