What’s the James Webb Telescope?

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NASA launched the James Webb telescope on December 25, 2021. It’s seven times more powerful than the Hubble Telescope and it was launched from the Guiana Space center, in French Guiana. It orbits the sun, one million miles from Earth, and can see deep into the vast darkness of space.

But how does it work? According to Nasa, “The Webb will send science and engineering data to Earth using a high-frequency radio transmitter. Large radio antennas that are part of the NASA Deep Space Network will receive the signals and forward them to the Webb Science and Operation Center,” 

Since it can see so far away, it actually looks into the past. Light travels through light years, which are very fast, yet it takes a long time for the telescope to see the light from distant galaxies.

Science teacher, Christopher Chisolm, shares his thoughts on the telescope. “I think it’s gonna be really cool to get information about space that we have not seen before. I think it’s amazing that in my lifetime we have such cool technology.” 

He goes on to share how exciting it is to have a telescope more powerful than the Hubble. “What was so cool about the Hubble telescope that the James Webb telescope does too, is showing that what we used to think had a lot of just nothingness is so full of cool stuff.”  

Photo by Jaredd Craig