Get to know the “James Webb” space telescope, a new pair of eyes that humans use to solve the mystery of the origin of the universe – BBC News Thai

image source, NASA

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), the second-generation heir to the Hubble Space Telescope. It will be launched and deployed into space at the end of December. After encountering so many obstacles that the said schedule had to be postponed many times.

This much more advanced space telescope. It is designed to penetrate deeper into space than humans have ever been able to. which is equivalent to looking back in time Until the moment the first stars shone and the universe was born about 14 billion years ago.

Dr Amber Nicole Strahn, deputy chief scientist for the JWST Camera Development Program at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), said: “The most exciting thing about building a telescope. big space It was also a device that had high hopes for it. is to discover new questions that we never knew existed. and learning things in the universe that will create new wonders for us.”

Unfold the folded paper “origami”.

The James Webb Space Telescope will look into the universe. with the largest astronomical telescope as humans have ever sent into orbit The primary mirror with a diameter of 6.5 meters is folded. It takes up to 14 days to slowly blossom into space. It’s like unfolding a Japanese folded paper known as “origami” or “origami”.

The JWST Camera Development and Installation Program is a collaboration between the US Space Agency, the European Union and Canada, with a budget of up to $10 billion. In the weeks to come, the JWST camera folds up to save space. It will be launched into orbit by Ariane 5 rocket from a launch pad in French Guiana. French Overseas Territories in South America

About 30 minutes after the launch rocket takes off from Earth, the JWST camera will detach from the rocket and begin the installation process. It consists of 344 critical steps that must be anticipated, all of which must be accomplished by the installation team. to make the different settings of the telescope on purpose.

In the meantime, JWST cameras will continue to head to the station. or a fixed observation point in a designated space. This is a point 1.5 million kilometers from Earth, or four times the distance from Earth to the Moon. It will take approximately 30 days to travel.

When are you ready to start using it?

Dr. Strahn said it would take at least six months for the JWST to fully function. And can send us the first deep space photograph.

“When the camera reaches orbit in space It would have to start up a complex system that would slowly unfold and unfold the parts, after which it would take several months for the camera body to cool. Adjust and position the light-receiving mirror. as well as turn on the work of different devices one by one So we may have to wait until next summer. Or around the middle of 2022,” said Dr. Strahn.

follow in Hubble’s footsteps

The James Webb Space Telescope is designed to see parts of the universe beyond the Hubble Space Telescope’s capabilities. This is a camera with the most advanced technology of the previous generation.

However, the use of Hubble cameras over the past three decades It has given us many astronomical images critical to the development of our understanding of cosmology, such as the famous “Pillars of Creation”, the famous nebula. or images of less than 10,000 large galaxies in deep space. Also known as Hubble Ultra Deep Field (HUDF).

Although it was recently decided to extend the lifespan of Hubble cameras for another 10-20 years, the new camera to be used alongside the JWST has many improvements over the Hubble camera. such as vision in the infrared region The wavelengths of light that are invisible to humans, JWST cameras are able to detect infrared radiation better than Hubble.

The JWST camera also has a mirror that is many times larger. This means that there is more exposure and concentration of light than a Hubble camera. This makes it possible to capture images of space in deeper areas more clearly. The JWST is located in an observatory far more distant than Hubble. It is another advantage as well.

Dr Antonella Nota, from the European Space Agency (ESA), said: “Despite the small size of the Hubble telescope and the primary mirror at 2.4 meters wide, it still gives us a glimpse into the past. That can go as far back as 200-300 million years after the Big Bang ever. There is no doubt that the James Webb Space Telescope, with 100 times more sensitivity than Hubble, will allow us to see the formation of the first galaxies in the universe.”

What will the JWST camera see?

NASA stated that Vision in the longer wavelengths of the James Webb Space Telescope will bring us one step closer to the beginning of time and the birth of the first galaxies.

image source, Nasa/ESA


The JWST camera can penetrate through clouds of dust and gas. into the area where stars are born

In addition, JWST cameras are able to see penetrating through space barriers. such as clouds of dust and gas that act like a dense curtain In order to observe the area that is the source of various stars in the present as well.

Dr Strahn also said the team of scientists involved had already planned what JWST would observe during the first year of operation. The camera is scheduled to study a wide variety of different space objects. Since the planets in our own solar system to the first galaxies that were born 13.5 billion years ago

search for life

The James Webb Space Telescope can also help us find traces of alien life. The camera may look for light waves from molecules that symbolize living things. Inside the atmospheres of different planets

“Of course we cannot make promises. in regards to whether the new camera will encounter alien life or not,” said Dr. Strahn.

“But one thing that is certain is that This camera is a huge leap in technology. for finding habitable planets in the Milky Way Galaxy.”

image source, NASA


Scientists hope the JWST telescope will discover new stars that are habitable. Inside the Milky Way Galaxy

“There are many things that are tied to this space telescope…like when we look up at the night sky. We will feel the connection that exists. Humans are not just tiny, isolated creatures. but born from the fragments of stars that exploded billions of years ago.”

“We are all connected to the universe. It is therefore important to step away. And look at the picture of life in a wider perspective,” Dr. Strahn concluded.

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