The James Webb Space Telescope has given us our first glimpse of how it will change how we view the universe. The picture shows the galaxy SMACS 0723, where a massive number of galaxy clusters act as a magnifying glass for whatever lies beyond them. The gravitational lensing process created Webb’s first deep field image of faint, far-off galaxies that are exceedingly old and distant.
Several of these distant galaxies and stellar clusters have never been seen before. The galaxy cluster shown in this photograph existed 4.6 billion years ago.
The picture was made up of images taken over a period of 12.5 hours at various light wavelengths and was taken by Webb’s near-infrared camera.
The six incredible facts about the James Webb Telescope that are gradually changing how people study space are listed below.
1: The most advanced observatory ever launched
The $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope is the most sophisticated observatory ever launched. The Ariane 5 ECA rocket launched the JWST on December 25, 2021. The overall payload weighed roughly 6200 kg and included the observatory, supplies for use in orbit, and a launch vehicle adaptor.
2: Returning to the beginning
Infrared light, which has longer wavelengths than what the human eye can see, is what Webb is designed to gather and analyze. It will therefore be able to collect infrared light from the very first galaxies. The early galaxies may only be visible as faint smudges at the Webb telescope’s present strength, more than 13 billion light years away. But those smudges will help researchers understand the beginnings of the cosmos as we know it.
3: The golden mirror
The largest telescope in the world’s golden mirror is its most stunning feature. The primary mirror is around 6.5 meters in diameter (21.3 ft). The main mirror, which is 705 kg and constructed of beryllium, It has a gold coating. The focal length of the mirror is 131.4 meters. The main mirror is composed of 18 pieces.
4: The James Webb Space Telescope’s objectives are as follows
Identify the first galaxies or dazzling objects to form after the Big Bang.
Examine the evolution of galaxies from the time of their creation till the present.
Observe the development of stars, from their early stages to the formation of planetary systems.
In order to determine whether or not there is a chance for life, we measure the physical and chemical properties of planetary systems, such as our solar system.
5: The JWST observatory is equipped with the following instruments:
Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam)
Near Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec)
Mid Infrared Instrument (MIRI)
Fine Guidance Sensors/Near Infrared Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (FGS/NIRISS)
6: Plenty more to see
But that’s just the beginning. The breadth of Webb’s scientific uses is astonishing. For instance, Megan Mansfield, a NASA Sagan Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Arizona, will utilize Webb to study the atmospheres of planets orbiting stars outside of our solar system.
She is particularly curious to know “what they’re made of, what their temperature is” in regards to their atmospheres. That will teach her a lot about the planet, including whether or not life can exist there.