In short, the James Webb Space Telescope is going to be the strongest, most powerful, most efficient, and most capable space telescope of all time. This huge project has had its share of obstacles in its development and launch, but it’s finally ready to be utilized by NASA to offer insight that we’ve never had before. Designed to succeed the Hubble, it’s going to allow NASA researchers to learn more about the solar system with more precise images and recording capabilities, which will inevitably change our understanding of space on a profound level.
The James Webb Telescope: Ready to Succeed the Hubble Telescope
We can’t concisely express the incredible contributions of the Hubble Telescope, which was truly the first of its kind, capable of capturing images using high-tech spectroscopy. Huge discoveries were made with the Hubble, including the observation of the Antennae Galaxies, offering full spectrum spatial images while separating light into individual color components. Hubble has been successfully upgraded over the years to offer more high-tech potential, but at the end of the day, the time has come for an entirely new telescope to usher us into the 21st century.
The James Webb Telescope looks to improve upon the Hubble, borrowing many of its structural features and capabilities while offering crucial differences that enable more accurate and detailed observations. One major feature is its ability to offer highly redshifted imagery so that images can be more carefully observed from farther distances. As an infrared telescope, it can enable the sight of objects that we still know next to nothing about due to our inability to physically travel to them or record them using past technology.
Perhaps the biggest takeaway when comparing the two telescopes is that while the Hubble mainly observed space through optical and ultraviolet wavelengths, with minor infrared capability, the James Webb relies on powerful infrared technology. Webb’s mirror is also notably larger, thus offering impressive distance that simply hasn’t been possible in the past.
What the James Webb Space Telescope Will Reveal to Us
Now that the James Webb Space Telescope is finally complete, NASA is preparing for its launch. Of course, we are in anticipation of whether or not the launch is successful, but assuming that it is, NASA will waste no time putting it to work.
Thanks to the advanced infrared capability of the James Webb, we will finally be able to observe space objects that date back to over 13 billion years, which will allow us to record the first stars ever created for the first time on record. This will give us huge insight into the Big Bang, as we will be able to see with our own eyes the earliest results from this iconic event. We will also be able to observe black holes and learn more about their formation, while identifying them throughout the galaxy. They're many Space Patches made to honor these events.
One weak spot in the Hubble was its ability to show interstellar dust in a clear way, and the James Webb looks to improve upon that. This will allow us to learn more about interstellar life, observing the lifespan of stars and seeing clear images of their remnants once they have passed on in the galaxy. This will allow us to learn more about the ultimate impact of aging stars on solar systems, and the purposes that they serve throughout each stage of their life cycles.
Perhaps one of the most exciting goals of the James Webb Space Telescope is to observe how solar systems form in the first place. Due to the distance capabilities, we will be able to record the earliest formations of systems of planets, by seeing protoplanetary disks which act as the predecessors to larger system formations. There is no doubt that these observations will answer numerous questions about the origins of our own solar system, and the process through which it reached its present state.
Also, the James Webb will serve as the first telescope to block the light of stars which can blind us to objects surrounding them, including individual planets. This could lead to discoveries of biological matter outside of Earth in a detailed way, while giving us insight into the compositions of individual space objects that have puzzled us for centuries.
The launch of the James Webb Space Telescope was planned for last week, although it ended up experiencing yet another delay after a long list of setbacks. This time, the delay is due to the unavailability of the Ariane 5 Rocket which was supposed to launch it. Now, it is expected to launch October 31 of this year. Wikipedia has some great info on NASA here.
As we thank the Hubble telescope for all of its contributions over the years, we are ready to usher in a new era of space exploration via the James Webb Space Telescope, which has capabilities in place that blow every past piece of telescopic equipment out of the water. We have no doubt that once it successfully launches, we will gain insight into space objects that we didn’t think were possible just a couple of decades ago.