James Webb Space Telescope
Updated: Jun 6
The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is a large, infrared-optimized space telescope that is set to be launched in 2021. It is being developed by NASA, in partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). The JWST is considered to be the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, and is designed to observe some of the most distant objects in the universe, such as the first galaxies that formed after the Big Bang.
The JWST features a large primary mirror that is 6.5 meters (21.3 feet) in diameter, which is more than twice the size of the primary mirror on the Hubble Space Telescope. The primary mirror is made up of 18 hexagonal mirror segments that work together as one large mirror.
The telescope is equipped with four main scientific instruments, including a Near Infrared Camera, a Near Infrared Spectrograph, a Mid-Infrared Instrument, and a Tunable Filter Imager, that will allow it to observe objects in a wide range of infrared wavelengths.
JWST will be placed in a special orbit called the second Lagrange point or L2, about 1.5 million kilometers (about 930,000 miles) from Earth, which provides a unique vantage point for observing the universe. From this location, it will be able to observe objects that are obscured by the light of stars in our own galaxy, and also objects that are too far away for other telescopes to see clearly.
The JWST is expected to make many groundbreaking discoveries in the fields of cosmology, the study of the origins and evolution of the universe, and the study of the formation of stars and planets.