(GIST OF SCIENCE REPORTER) James Webb Space Telescope

(GIST OF SCIENCE REPORTER) James Webb Space Telescope


James Webb Space Telescope

  • The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) to be launched in December 2021, is the biggest & most expensive space telescope ever built by humans and is going to become a successor to the most successful space telescope – the ‘Hubble Space Telescope’.

Key facts:

  • JWST is the largest and most expensive space telescope ever built to be placed in space – it is 100 times more powerful than the Hubble Space Telescope.
  • Being extremely big, it is folded in origami-style to fit into the rocket – it will be unfolded in space as depicted in the famous Hollywood movie “Transformer”.
  • It has a five-layered Sunshield that protects the Webb telescope from the infrared radiation of the Sun, Earth, and Moon – it is just like having sun protection of SPF 1 million.
  • With unparalleled infrared sensitivity, it will peer back in time over 13.5 billion years to see the first galaxies born after the Big Bang.
  • It will orbit the Sun 15 lakh kilometres from the Earth while Hubble orbits 560 kilometres above the Earth.
  • It is extremely sensitive – can even detect the heat signature of a bumblebee on the Moon.

Scientific Instruments:

  • The JWST's mirrors collect incoming infrared light from outer space and direct the radiation to the onboard science instruments. The instruments, as per their pre-decided scientific objectives, filter the light or spectroscopically disperse it before finally reaching the light onto the detectors of various instruments. The Webb telescope has four instruments contained within the Integrated Science Instrument Module:
  1. Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam)
  2. Near-Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec)
  3. Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI)
  4. Fine Guidance Sensor/Near InfraRed Imager and Slitless Spectrograph.



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Courtesy: Science Reporter