Christine Chen, an astronomer, is ecstatic about the upcoming deployment of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). The USD 10 billion equipment, half the scale of a 737 airliner and outfitted with gold-coated reflectors, will circle 1 million miles above Earth and find deep-space locations never seen by humans before. This comprises some of the first stars ever formed, as well as the most faraway galaxies and even strange planets in the universe. “It’s amazing,” said Chen, an astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which will operate the James Webb Space Telescope, or JWST. The debut of the much-anticipated gadget is presently scheduled for December 2021.
Although this telescope has frequently been in the headlines for unrelated reasons from its scientific activities in recent times, it is scheduled to be launched on December 18, 2021. NASA named this extraordinary device after James Webb, NASA’s commander in the 1960s who led the organization during a period when the federal government harassed and dismissed LGBTQ individuals from NASA as well as other departments. For the time being, NASA has said that it will maintain the JWST label after discovering no evidence regarding Webb that “warrants altering the designation.”
In the 90s, JWST has nicknamed the “Next Generation Orbit Telescope,” and it will accompany the iconic Hubble Space Telescope in recording clear images of the cosmos. Hubble is a technological marvel. It has revealed unparalleled, dazzling vistas of the universe, galaxies, as well as planets throughout its 30-year orbit, 340 miles above the Earth. However, JWST is not a substitute for the aging Hubble Space Telescope. JWST is a descendant with unique and enhanced capabilities. Larger mirror telescopes may view fainter objects. This is because bigger mirrors collect more light.
Because the universe has been continually growing or stretching since its explosive birth, light from these early areas of the universe is billions of light-years away. Monitoring this light is the same as peeking into the distant past because the most distant light emitted stars billions of years ago. “We’re going back in time,” Chen explained. Hubble can detect dim light that is around 1 billion years old. If everything goes according to plan, JWST will detect light that is about 13.7 billion years old, when the first stars and planets began to form.
Hubble mostly observes visible light, however, there are several forms of light that the human eye cannot detect. JWST is designed to observe one of these, known as “infrared light,” which enables astronomers to view a far larger number of stars and planets. The universe is engulfed by dense, smoke-like clouds of dust and gas. However, infrared light may pass through dense dust clouds, as infrared light has longer wavelengths, the light rays are not as easily dispersed by particles in the cosmos. Different wavelengths with widely separated peaks and troughs are less probable to interact with particles in space.