A former NASA administrator named James Webb helped rename the telescope from Next Generation Space Telescope (NGST) to the Webb by September 2002.
Developed by NASA, ESA (the European Space Agency), and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), Webb is an international collaboration. In Greenbelt, Maryland, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center manages the development efforts. Northrop Grumman is the main industrial partner for the project; after launch, the Space Telescope Science Institute will operate Webb.
The project scientist for the James Webb Space Telescope is John C. Mather.
The Webb project is a collaboration between NASA, ESA and CSA.
We’ll be able to travel back in time thanks to a $10 billion telescope
Development of the system is managed by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. After launch, Webb will be operated by the Space Telescope Science Institute, whose primary industrial partner is Northrop Grumman.
The new telescope from NASA will enable it to look deeper into space and further back in time than any previous spacecraft has ever been able to do.
One-third of a century after the Hubble Space Telescope launched into low orbit, the brand new James Webb Space Telescope is undergoing the final stages of testing to launch on October 31.
Designed to explore the early evolution of our galaxy, the Webb telescope examines the origins of the universe. This course will explore galaxies, black holes, planets, and whether life has ever existed in the universe.
NASA plans to replace the Hubble Space Telescope with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) as its flagship astrophysics mission. With collaboration from the European Space Agency (ESA) and Canadian Space Agency (CSA), JWST will incorporate groundbreaking technology to observe some of the universe’s most distant events and objects, including the formation of galaxies. In 1996, plans were made for a launch in 2007. It was initially planned for 2007 with a $500million (£364million) budget, but it has suffered from delays and overruns ever since.
James Webb Space Telescope versus Hubble Space Telescope
In what ways does Hubble differ from the James Webb Space Telescope?
During the spring of 2019, NASA will launch the James Webb Space Telescope. The Hubble Space Telescope, launched in 1990, often serves as its successor. It attempts to enhance and extend the discoveries made by its predecessor. However, NASA argues that comparing the James Webb to the Hubble Space Telescope is unfair because the devices have several key differences…
- Visible and ultraviolet– In particular, Hubble focuses on ultraviolet and visible light. Nevertheless, it is unable to observe the infrared spectrum beyond 0.8 to 2.5 microns, unlike James Webb. Rather, it focuses on work that cannot be done from the ground using the ultraviolet (0.1 to 0.4 micron) capabilities and on producing high-resolution images through the visible (0.4 to 0.8 micron) light instruments.
- Size of the telescope– A gigantic tractor-trailer truck roughly the size of Hubble measures 13.2 meters (43.5 feet) long and 4.2 meters (14 feet) in diameter.
- Distance between the telescope and earth– Observes the Earth from an altitude of 570 kilometers in space.
- Red and infrared– Infrared light can be detected between 0.6 (red light) and 28 microns (infrared). The James Webb was built to focus on this range of infrared light. Since it cannot see in ultraviolet light like Hubble, it will then focus on far away infrared objects, such as galaxies, which are bright in infrared.
- Size of the telescope– A 15-meter wide by 12-meter long sunshield is James Webb’s (79.5 ft x 46.5 ft). A 737 is about half its size. An average tennis court-sized sunshield is used.
- Distance between the telescope and earth– The James Webb spacecraft will not orbit the Earth, but instead sit at the 1.5 million km away Lagrange point between Earth and the Sun! At the L2 point, the Sun, Earth, and Moon will not be visible to James Webb. Infrared telescopes need to remain cool even while they are used. This will help James Webb stay cool.
Throughout the electromagnetic spectrum, light travels at various frequencies. Considering that our atmosphere blocks out so many other wavelengths, it isn’t surprising that our eyes can detect the ‘visible light’ part of the spectrum. Outside and inside our atmosphere, we cannot see quite as many forms of light.
A longer wavelength of infrared light can penetrate objects in space with a longer wavelength, such as gases and dust. Infrared telescopes can see beyond these clouds, which is why they can produce clearer images than those taken with other telescopes.
How far back in time can the James Webb Space Telescope see?
As light travels further, we are looking further back in time when an object is farther away. A telescope can help us see objects as they were 13.6 billion years ago when the light first hit them.
James Webb will be able to view our Universe in infrared light, meaning that it will be able to see galaxies much further away than Hubble is able to see in its visible and ultraviolet light. The expansion of our Universe causes light from distant objects to be shifted outward, and this phenomenon is called redshift. James Webb will receive the opportunity to peer back to the birth of galaxies instead of viewing newborns as Hubble did.
Where will James Webb be located?
Unlike the Hubble, the James Webb Space Telescope will be placed in a much higher orbit and will be able to observe much further away.
By orbiting the Sun, instead of the Earth, the telescope will remain stationary. There will be a line between the planet and the spacecraft, but it will be 1.5 million kilometers from the Earth. Lagrange points are positions in space.
To keep the mirror from being damaged by the sun, we will place it at minus 233°C. This sunshield is as large as a tennis court and dissipates more than a million times the heat coming from the host star.
Light reflected by a telescope’s mirror is captured by its camera. Mirrors improve a telescope’s capturing power. 18 primary mirrors make up JWST’s honeycomb-shaped structure. Overall, it has a diameter of 6.5 metres. Mirror will be 200 times more powerful and six times larger than Hubble’s.
A thin layer of gold is applied to the mirror in order to reflect infrared light more effectively.
The James Webb Space Telescope is far more advanced than the Hubble Telescope
The JWST (James Webb Space Telescope), the world’s most advanced space observatory, was conceived nearly two decades ago and expected to transform astronomy when it is operational.
Astronomers will be able to study the universe as it appeared millions of years ago thanks to the $10 billion “time machine.”
Due to its design, technology, and planned location in space, it is far more advanced than the Hubble telescope.
JWST’s huge golden mirror reflects light onto the telescope’s cameras and spectrographs, which will be equipped with sensitive cameras and spectrographs.
It is expected that researchers can use the telescope from 44 countries to study galaxies and supermassive black holes, including our own galaxy.