Here on Earth, One of the best ways is by go into space is by launching a telescope. Telescopes are an excellent way to explore outer space because they allow us to see things that are too far away from us to be seen from Earth. The James Webb Telescope is the most powerful telescope in the world ever built to study the universe. It will be the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope and JWST images will be sharper for easy scientific studies. But why was a new telescope needed? What can it study that current telescopes cannot? And what are its groundbreaking capabilities? Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about the James Webb Space Telescope.
What Exactly is the James Webb Space Telescope?
James Webb Space Telescope is currently the world’s most powerful telescope. This telescope also referred to as the “JWST“, has been developed by NASA and its other space agency partners. The Webb uses a large infrared telescope and is capable of studying every phase in the history of our universe. It means it behaves like a Time Machine. Webb’s Deep Field
Northrop Grumman tweeted- “A space telescope is essentially a time machine. and NASA’s Webb will unlock the deepest mystery of our existence.”
James Webb telescope is the largest space science telescope developed primarily by NASA. However, it is a joint international collaboration between NASA, European Space Agency (ESA), and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).
Webb is a premier observatory with a large 6.5-meter (21-foot) gold-coated primary mirror that helps to optimize the Webb telescope images. The telescope has been built on the discoveries of its predecessor Hubble Space Telescope.
According to NASA– “The James Webb Space Telescope is a large, space-based observatory, optimized for infrared wavelengths, which will complement and extend the discoveries of the Hubble Space Telescope.”
Over the years, telescopes have discovered many wonders, solved space mysteries, and studied thousands of cosmic objects. The one currently popular as the “Hubble Space Telescope” is the best example.
The Hubble telescope has been deployed 570 KM from the earth. Hubble has studied over 40,000 cosmic objects. If it is, then why does NASA need another more powerful Webb telescope?
The main advantage of launching JWST is to take clear Webb telescope images and increase its reach of humankind in space. The new powerful Webb telescope can reach as close to the dark age as the next big thing after the Big Bang, according to NASA.
The other advantage of using a large gold-plated mirror is to receive more cosmic data and improve the accuracy of the infrared wavelength in Webb telescope images.
The new Webb will be positioned about 1.5 million km away from Earth, with a round trip to the sun. JWST images taken by spacecraft will help our scientists study black holes, and other space mysteries more closely and clearly than other telescopes.
Even NASA has shared an image taken in two different modes: visible mode, and infrared mode. You can clearly see the Webb telescope images are better than the Hubble image
Webb is not a replacement for Hubble:
Due to the current buzz of JWST events and announcements, people get confused and think that the new James Hubble television is a replacement for the Hubble telescope. No, the new James telescope is the successor of the Hubble telescope rather than a replacement. The work methodologies are different for both.
Although the space agency states that the Webb telescope is built on the discoveries of the Hubble telescope, JWST pictures will be taken more accurately and in detail.
“Webb will look at this universe with infrared while Hubble primarily uses visible and UV for studies.”
Since this telescope is far from the research means, it means more close to the space. With the size of the mirror and the sharpness of the infrared wavelength, However, you can easily convert infrared images into colorful JWST pictures just like Hubble or even more clearly. The agency has announced that it will share the high-quality JWST images on July 12th at 15.30 BST.
The European Space Agency has shared a thread – “#MediaAdvisory: NASA, ESA, and CSA will release the James # Webb space telescope’s first full-color images and spectrometric data during a television broadcast beginning at 15.30 PST on Tuesday, July 12. Details: Newsroom, Press.
In short, Hubble is a general-purpose observatory developed by NASA, meant to explore the universe in visible, infrared, and ultraviolet wavelengths. However, the James Webb telescope is purely optimized for infrared wavelength. This helped to take James Webb Telescope photos including the galaxies, Nebulas, and much more precisely.
A research paper published on DOI mentions: “the long-awaited telescope will finally take us over 13.5 billion years back in time to see how the first bright objects formed in the Universe.“ This is how powerful and useful the new telescope is which has been formed based on the discoveries of Hubble.
JWST is Not the First Infrared Optimized Telescope
Before the launch of Webb into space, there was another infrared optimized telescope, the Herschel Space Observatory, developed by ESA. This telescope orbits in the L2 region, just like where Webb will be. Herschel was the only space observatory to cover the spectral range from infrared to sub-millimeter. ESA’s Herschel was launched on May 14th, 2009, and celebrated its 13th anniversary this year.
ESA mentions: “Herschel was the only space observatory to cover a spectral range from the far-infrared to sub-millimeter.”
So, you might think the major variation between Webb and Herschel! The major difference between these two observatories is their wavelength range. James Webb covers a wavelength range of 0.6 to 28.5 microns, while Herschel covers only 60 to 500 microns. Another difference between their primary mirror diameters. The Webb has a diameter of 6.5 meters, approximately, while Herschel has 3.5 meters. So James Webb Telescope photos will be more detailed and precise than Herschel’s.
It is not the first time a space observatory has been launched by NASA, but the capabilities of the James Webb Space Observatory have created a buzz around the world. As many news agencies and scientists refer to it as the most powerful space observatory right now, the telescope has four major key areas of function. To date,
Hubble has helped scientists measure the age of the big bang at around 13.8 billion, and now Webb will unveil more secrets of the universe with the James Webb Telescope photos. The capabilities and areas are still theories and concepts by scientists. In a paper published by Springer, however, NASA’s official website almost confirms the same. they explain these major areas:
Big Bang & Early Universe:
The first key focus area is to identify luminance sources that formed in the early ages of the universe. It will reveal the emergence of the first individual light after the end of the Dark Age. For people who don’t know, the Dark Age is the time after the Big Bang, after which the first light source is formed. describes the birth of some of the first galaxies in the universe and how they were born. In short, this key area reveals some of the deepest truths about the early age of this universe.
The second focus area is the formation of galaxies and the cycle of stellar birth and death of these galaxies. Terms like the reason and cause for forming a star, metals, dark matter, and the formation of gas & dust clouds like a nebula, etc. In this phase of the study, scientists also research the creation of life on planets, the formation of heavy elements, and much more. Unlike this stage of scientific capabilities, Webb reveals galaxy-level information.
The third key area to study will be the formation of solar systems. The birth of stars and the creation of protoplanetary systems are just like our solar system. According to the theories, the first star born was over 30 times the size of our Sun. How do molecular cloud cores get cooled and again generate heat to give birth to new stars and many other things? Even the black holes and their formation environments.
And of course, the next focus area will be to study and explore the formation of planets like earth where life is born and find new planets that are habitable for humans and life in some form. Well, these are just theories and opinions given by scientists after looking at the technical instrumentations of the James Webb telescope.
For now, we have reached the end of our journey to understanding the JWST. Don’t get trapped in buzz words that Webb will replace the Hubble but it is a complementary successor of Hubble and help scientists to look beyond the capability of Hubble in space. The James Webb telescope is the most powerful telescope in the world after its launch. Webb used infrared wavelengths to study the universe and all the JWST pictures will be taken in infrared and after getting converted into visible colorful pictures. The first colorful high-quality James Webb Telescope photos will be released by NASA on 12th July 2022 taken at the new observatory. This is not the end, and you can continue to read more about James observatory in our other blogs. See you there…!!