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James Webb Space Telescope: Hubble’s Successor

May 18th, 2007 · No Comments

Nasa unvieled the James Webb Space Telescope earlier this week. The telescope is named after a Nasa administrator who was in charge during the moon-exploration Apollo era. It has a huge reflector thrice the size of Hubble’s and will gaze farther into the past of the Universe than anything else ever has. See, the farther a telescope can see, the farther back in time we can go. Light from the earliest events in the Universe haven’t yet reached the earth – they might have reached the extent of the telescope’s reach though – so this telescope will let us peer right back to the very verge of the universe’s creation.

James Webb Space Telescope
Image credit: BBC

A full-scale model is on display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in the US capital, Washington DC. The telescope is expected to have a life span of about 10 years, and cost many billions (almost $4.5 billion) to create. It is an infrared telescope and will have a huge sunshield to keep it cool – the cooler the IR telescope the better its resolution. In its final position, the telescope will be over 1.5 million kilometers from the Earth.

I can’t wait for the pictures, if Hubble was good, this can only be better!