Notice: The telescope that will replace Hubble will be launched at Christmas. Here’s why it’s important
The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is a next-generation instrument designed to scan the cosmos, with capabilities that exceed and complement the venerable Hubble Telescope. It has been a long time coming, but it is a very exciting prospect to see the astronomical community take another step forward.
The company has supported expensive astronomical projects like space telescopes because of the huge return on investment in knowledge of the universe – and is expected to continue to do so. Hubble, for example, has proven time and time again that the investment is worth it. It answered questions that weren’t even asked when it launched, while also shedding light on old questions such as: How fast is the universe expanding? And how old is he?
Hubble discovered the moons of Pluto and proved that most galaxies have a supermassive black hole at their core. And he created a three-dimensional map of dark matter in the universe. These are amazing discoveries that are a great return on your investment.
But there are other questions to be answered which require new capabilities. This is why the Webb telescope, so important is named after James Webb, who led NASA from 1961 to 1968 as the agency prepared for the Apollo missions to the moon. It will go further back in time than Hubble can, and it will answer questions that Hubble cannot.
Seeing the evolution of the universe is not the only mission of JWST. Its ability to image infrared light will allow it to directly see certain planets orbiting distant stars. While it is highly unlikely that the facility will be able to see Earth-like planets, it will be able to see infrared light reflection on Jupiter-like planets, and it will be able to see young planets hot enough to be molten. – much like the Earth was when it first formed. Detailed information on exoplanets will allow scientists to better understand how planetary systems are formed and give us a better idea of ââwhether our own solar system is unusual. This will have profound implications for the question: is humanity alone in the universe?
And then the fun begins. While researchers have a clear plan for what the telescope will look for, it’s almost certain that astronomers will also discover things they didn’t anticipate. We can only guess what we might learn about the universe over the next five years. However, I’m sure the James Webb Space Telescope will turn at least a few centuries-old questions into modern answers.
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