James Webb Space Telescope (JWST)


    In News 

    NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has delivered the deepest and sharpest infrared image of the distant universe so far. 

    • Webb’s First Deep Field is galaxy cluster SMACS 0723, and it is teeming with thousands of galaxies – including the faintest objects ever observed in the infrared.

    James Webb Space Telescope

    • About:
      • It is the world’s premier space science observatory. 
      • It will solve mysteries in our solar system, look beyond distant worlds around other stars, and probe the mysterious structures and origins of our universe and our place in it. 
      • It is an international program led by NASA with its partners, ESA (European Space Agency) and CSA (Canadian Space Agency).
      • The telescope launched on an Ariane 5 from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana.
    • Mission: 
      • It will be “a giant leap forward in quest to understand the Universe and our origins”, as it will examine every phase of cosmic history: from the Big Bang to the formation of galaxies, stars, and planets to the evolution of our own Solar System.
    • Current status 
      • It is currently at a point in space known as the Sun-Earth L2 Lagrange point, approximately 1.5 million km beyond Earth’s orbit around the Sun.
        • Lagrange Point 2 is one of the five points in the orbital plane of the Earth-Sun system. 
        • Named after Italian-French mathematician Joseph-Louis Lagrange, the points are in any revolving two-body system like Earth and Sun, marking where the gravitational forces of the two large bodies cancel each other out. 
          • Objects placed at these positions are relatively stable and require minimal external energy or fuel to keep themselves there, and so many instruments are positioned here.
    • Different from other telescopes
      • The JWST will be able to see right through and into massive clouds of dust that are opaque to earlier generation visible-light observatories like the Hubble Telescope. 
      • The Webb is equipped with cameras and other instruments sensitive to infrared or “heat” radiation, and the Hubble is not.