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James Webb - New eyes to the Universe

The James Webb Space Telescope was launched from French Guiana in South America on December 22, almost 14 years late. The telescope has cost over $ 10 billion, over 20 times more expensive than originally planned.

After two nerve-wracking weeks where the telescope and the huge sunshade were unfolded, the telescope has arrived at its new home in orbit around Lagrange point number 2. This point is located approx. 1.5 million km from Earth all the time on the opposite side to the Sun. Here, James Webb will go in a fairly stable path without having to use a lot of fuel. The 750 square meter sunshade will help keep the telescope super cold since the instruments in the telescope will not be able to observe if it is not super cold.

 

James Webb is more than an upgrade of the Hubble Space Telescope. The much larger mirror will collect more light so that more distant objects can be observed and give us sharper images. Equally important is that James Webb will observe infrared light from the universe - radiation we cannot see with our eyes. The advantage of observing infrared light is that light can penetrate interstellar nebulae and dust clouds where new stars with associated planets are born. James Webb will thus be able to look into such nebulae and study such cosmic maternity wards.

 

The lecture will tell the story of this unique new telescope and perhaps some of the first pictures taken during the test period. 

See a short video here

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