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Space Telescope Launch

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is a space telescope planned to succeed the Hubble Space Telescope as NASA’s flagship astrophysics mission.

The JWST was launched on 25/12/21 during Ariane flight VA256.

It will provide improved infrared resolution and sensitivity over Hubble, and will enable a broad range of investigations across the fields of astronomy and cosmology, including observing some of the most distant events and objects in the universe, such as the formation of galaxies and detailed atmospheric characterization of potentially habitable worlds.

The primary mirror of JWST, consists of 18 hexagonal mirror segments made of gold-plated beryllium, which combine to create a 6.5 m (21 ft) diameter mirror—considerably larger than Hubble’s 2.4 m (7 ft 10 in) mirror. 

Unlike the Hubble telescope, which observes in the near-ultraviolet, visible and near-infrared (0.1 to 1 μm) spectra, JWST will observe in a lower frequency range, from long-wavelength visible light through mid-infra-red (0.6 to 28.3 μm), which will allow it to observe high redshift objects that are too old and too distant for Hubble to observe.

The telescope must be kept very cold in order to observe in the infrared without interference, so it will be deployed in space near the Sun–Earth L2 Lagrange point (which is 0.010 AU – or 3.9 times the lunar distance – away from Earth) and a large sunshield  made of  silicon  and aluminium coated Kapton will keep its mirror and instruments below 50 K (−223 °C; −370 °F).

The James Webb Space Telescope has four key goals:

  • to search for light from the first stars and galaxies
  • to study the formation and evolution of galaxies
  • to understand the formation of stars and planetary systems
  • to study planetary systems and the origins of life

Watch this space for more exciting news on the JWST.


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On this page we shall publish important news stories, events, images, inventions and contemporary details etc, on perspective, projection methods, and spatial concepts. 

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I appreciate your help.

Alan Radley -- 20.12.21 --

Dr Alan Radley FRSA | Scientific Director

Perspective Research Centre