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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

NASA’s new James Webb Space Telescope set to launch from French Guiana

The NASA's instrument designed to allow humankind's first glimpse of the infant universe as it existed when the earliest galaxies are believed to have formed

Dec 24 – The James Webb Space Telescope, a NASA tool designed to allow people to see for the first time the newborn atmosphere as it was when the first galaxy was believed to be formed, is expected to be unveiled on Saturday from the northeast coast. in America.

The 9 billion flexible infrared telescope, recommended by NASA as the first observatory of space science in the next decade, was assembled inside the Ariane 5 rocket carrier ready to explode at 7:20 am EST (1220 GMT) from Europe Space. Agency for the launch of the Agency (ESA) in French Guiana.

If all goes according to plan, the 14,000-pound musical instrument, which will be about the size of a tennis court, will be released from a French rocket after a 26-minute flight into space.

Next month, the Webb telescope will move toward its destination in the solar system approximately one million miles from Earth – about four times the moon. Webb’s special orbital system will keep it in orbit around the Earth as the planet and the telescope rotate around the sun.

By comparison, Webb’s 30-year-old predecessor, the Hubble Space Telescope, orbits the Earth itself from a distance of 340 kilometers, coming in and out of the shadow of the planet every 90 minutes.

Named the head of NASA during much of the decade since its founding in the 1960s, Webb is almost 100 times more sensitive than Hubble and is expected to radically change scientists’ understanding of the universe and our environment.

Webb will focus primarily on the cosmos in the infrared spectrum, which allows it to focus on the clouds of gas and dust where stars are born, while Hubble focuses mainly on light and ultraviolet waves.

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The main mirror of the new telescope – comprising 18 parts of 18 hexagonal beryllium metal – also has a much larger space for collecting light, enabling us to see far more distant objects, thus later, than Hubble and any other telescope.

That, say astronomers, will bring a glimpse of the unprecedented universe – dating back 100 million years after the Big Bang, a theoretical site that began the expansion of the visible universe some 13.8 billion years ago.

Hubble’s view goes back some 400 million years after the Big Bang, the period just after the first galaxies – clusters and scattered stars, gases, and other galaxies – are believed to have formed.

In addition to studying the formation of the first stars and galaxies in the universe with great clarity, astronomers are eager to study the huge black holes that are believed to reside in the center of distant galaxies.

Webb’s resources make it ideal to search for evidence of a life-sustaining environment surrounding dozens of newly engraved exoplanets – celestial bodies orbiting distant stars – as well as discovering a near-home planet, such as Mars and the cold Saturn moon Titan.

The telescope is a NASA-led international collaboration in space with European and Canadian space agencies. Northrop Grumman Corp (NOC.N) was the main contractor. The Arianespace launch car is part of the European brand.

The Webb was upgraded at a cost of $ 8.8 billion, and operating costs are expected to bring its total value of $ 9.66 billion, much higher than planned when NASA intended for launch in 2011. Learn more

The astronomical operation of the telescope, which will be handled by the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, is expected to begin in the summer of 2022, following approximately six months of aligning and measuring Webb glasses and hardware. The space observatory is designed to last 10 years.

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