What is James Webb Space Telescope launched, $10 Billion is the cost

Ground report | New Delhi: What is James Webb Telescope; NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) launched a telescope that will succeed the Hubble Telescope and become the biggest observatory beyond Earth. Dubbed, James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), it will observe the universe in a new way and look as far back as the birth of our universe 13.5 billion years ago.

The telescope launched on Europe’s Ariane-5 rocket from Spaceport in French Guiana. The launch comes decades after the telescope was first planned, and has been delayed by at least ten years when it was first supposed to launch in 2021.

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Developed at an estimated cost of $10 billion, the telescope is designed to answer our questions about the Universe and to make breakthrough discoveries in all fields of astronomy. Webb will see farther into our origins – from the formation of stars and planets to the birth of the first galaxies in the early Universe.

What is James Webb Telescope?

Once operational, the James Webb Space Telescope (Webb) will be the largest, most powerful telescope ever launched into space. Following the footsteps of the Hubble Space Telescope, the JWST will observe the Universe in the near-infrared and mid-infrared – at wavelengths longer than visible light.

The telescope will carry four state-of-the-art science instruments: the MIRI mid-infrared camera and spectrograph, the NIRSpec near-infrared spectrograph, the NIRCam near-infrared camera, and the FGS-NIRISS combined fine guidance sensor and near-infrared imager and slitless spectrograph.

The European Space Agency has said that it has a large 6.5-meter segmented mirror that will collect almost six times more light than Hubble. It has also been designed to work with infrared light. It will address a broad variety of scientific topics ranging from detecting the first galaxies in the Universe to studying planets around other stars.

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A giant, five-layered shield protects the telescope and the instruments from the light and heat of the Sun. At 22 × 12 meters, this is about the size of a tennis court. The shield will keep the telescope and its instruments permanently in the shade where they will cool down to -233ºC.

What will James Webb Telescope see?

The Telescope will become our eyes into the window of the vastness of the universe as it looks beyond what Hubble can see. The telescope will unravel the mystery of:

  • What did the early universe look like and when did the first stars and galaxies form?
  • How did galaxies and black holes form and evolve?
  • The lifecycle of stars from their birth to death.
  • Investigate how planetary systems including our solar system form and evolve.
  • Study exoplanets, their atmosphere, and the building blocks of life they might  contain

Where will James Webb Telescope operate from?

The Ariane-5 rocket once launched will deploy the James Webb Telescope in an orbit around the second Lagrange point of the Sun-Earth system, L2. The orbit is located approximately 1.5 million kilometers from Earth and the telescope will take about a month of trajectory to reach the location.

Who was James Webb?  

The telescope has been named after NASA’s second administrator, James E Webb, who headed the agency during part of the Apollo era, from February 1961 to October 1968. The mission was previously known as the Next Generation Space Telescope (NGST).

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