A Legend Begins, James Webb Space Telescope
The largest and most powerful space science telescope in human history
The James Webb Space Telescope is the largest and most powerful space science telescope in human history to date. But it’s not the heaviest telescope. The weight and volume of the telescope are very important for rocket launch, because there are limits to the weight and volume that can be loaded depending on which rocket is used. Because metal-coated glass, like the Hubble Space Telescope, adds weight, the James Webb Space Telescope uses beryllium, which is light but very stable (about six times stronger than steel).
The main mirror of the telescope is made by combining 18 hinged 1.3m hexagonal mirrors, and the combined main mirror is also hexagonal. The James Webb Space Telescope’s main mirror (6.5 m in size and 25 sq m in area) and observation section are so large that they must be carefully folded and unfolded in space for launch. According to the James Webb Space Telescope team, it is like a giant high-tech origami.
Even the support for fixing the main mirror is very large, so it is also launched folded, and the bottom sunshield of the telescope is also launched in a folded state. The sunshield portion expands in space and separates into five distinct layers. For reference, the sunshield is almost half the size of Boeing’s 737–900 model airplane.
A Month of Tension for Webb Telescope
The James Webb Space Telescope is a telescope that needs to put all its energy into launch, but it will take a long time to take the first image, and the James Webb team is expected to remain in extreme tension mode for about a month. First, about 30 minutes after launch, the James Webb Space Telescope begins to separate from the top of the rocket. The telescope begins to unfold its awning to supply electricity by itself and prepares to communicate with the ground station. During a week, the awning begins to unfold gradually, and after about 10 days, all the awnings of the telescope are unfolded.
From the tenth day, the fixed base fixed to the main mirror unfolds and the telescope begins to search for what it sees. On the 13th day after launch, the awning, support, and telescope are all unfolded. The James Webb Space Telescope will then travel 1 million miles (about 1.6 million km) to reach its first destination. After about a month, the telescope will orbit around Lagrange L2 (one of five spaces where the gravitational force of the Sun and the Earth is balanced with the centripetal force required for the spacecraft to orbit).
When James Webb arrives here, he will be able to orbit the sun in the same line as the earth when looking at the sun. This special orbit ensures that one side of the James Webb Space Telescope sunshield is always facing the Sun, Earth and Moon, blocking heat and light from reaching the telescope’s optics.
Of course, fine-tuning the mirrors or successful testing of all equipment takes a little more time. Scientific instruments are cooled to less than about 40 Kelvin (-380 degrees Fahrenheit) and all optical instruments are calibrated. Of course, the first observational images the James Webb Space Telescope will give us are well worth the wait. The James Webb Space Telescope is a telescope made of state-of-the-art scientific equipment.
What makes the James Webb Space Telescope special?
The James Webb Space Telescope is the iconic successor to the Hubble and Spitzer Space Telescopes, and will complement observations from Hubble, Spitzer and other NASA missions.
What makes James Webb special is that the telescope will change the way we think about the night sky and space. Observing space with the ultra-high-resolution James Webb Space Telescope will not only allow us to explore galaxies farther away than we have seen before, but also look back at a never-before-seen period of space history and look into the past. have. Thus, the James Webb Space Telescope can study every stage of the universe’s history. The James Webb Space Telescope’s new and unexpected discoveries and observations will help us understand the origins of the universe and our place in it.