James Webb Space Telescope: Everything You Should Know About It

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Join Us , in this video about the James Webb Space Telescope.
We talked about this in the video: "The new Space Telescope is about to fly: are you ready for the revolution?" but the scientific progress that the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope will bring us is so important that the topic deserves a further deepening.
A deepening that we decided to do trying to imagine what questions each of you would want to ask NASA.
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What is the James Webb Space Telescope?
The James Webb Space Telescope, also called Webb or JWST, is a large, space-based observatory, optimized for infrared wavelengths, which will complement and extend the discoveries of the Hubble Space Telescope.
What are the main science goals of Webb?
Webb has four mission science goals:
Search for the first galaxies or luminous objects that formed after the Big Bang.
Determine how galaxies evolved from their formation until the present.
Observe the formation of stars from the first stages to the formation of planetary systems.
How big is it?
The most important size of a telescope is the diameter of the primary mirror, which is about meters for Webb.
But how is it that Webb, with a mirror six times the size of Hubble, only weighs half as much?
The reason is quite simple! There has been a lot of progress in technology since Hubble was built.
Why does Webb have a segmented, unfolding primary mirror?
Webb needs to have an unfolding mirror because the mirror is so large that it otherwise cannot fit in the launch shroud of currently available rockets.
Why is Webb optimized for near and mid-infrared light?
The primary goals of Webb are to study galaxy, star and planet formation in the Universe. To see the very first stars and galaxies form in the early Universe, we have to look deep into space to look back in time (because it takes light time to travel from there to here, the farther out we look, the further we look back in time).
Why do we have to go to space at all? Can we not get these data with large telescopes on the ground, using adaptive optics?
The Earth's atmosphere is nearly opaque and glows brightly at most of the infrared wavelengths that Webb will observe, so a cold telescope in space is required
How faint can Webb see?
Webb is designed to discover and study the first stars and galaxies that formed in the early Universe. To see these faint objects, it must be able to detect things that are ten billion times as faint as the faintest stars visible without a telescope. This is 10 to 100 times fainter than Hubble can see.
What is Webb's angular resolution, and how will its images compare to Hubble's? Will they be as beautiful?
Angular resolution is the term astronomers use to describe the "sharpness" of an image. There are two factors that affect how sharp an image is - the diameter of the mirror and the wavelength being observed. Webb's angular resolution will be the same as Hubble's, but in the near-infrared. This means that Webb images will appear just as sharp as Hubble's do.
Will Webb see planets around other stars?
The Webb will be able to detect the presence of planetary systems around nearby stars from their infrared light (heat).
Can Webb observe planets in our own Solar System?
Why has the Ariane 5 been chosen to launch Webb? Why not change to Space X?
The James Webb Space Telescope will be launched on an Ariane 5 rocket. The launch vehicle is part of the European contribution to the mission.
Why can’t Webb be repaired like Hubble in case of damage?
Hubble is in low-Earth orbit, located approximately 600 km away from the Earth, and is therefore readily accessible for servicing.
What happens after Webb is launched?
In the first hour: Starting at liftoff, the Ariane rocket will provide thrust for a little over 8 minutes. Webb will separate from the Ariane V launch vehicle a half-hour after launch and deploy the solar array immediately afterward.
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Credits: Ron Miller
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Credits: Nasa/Shutterstock/Storyblocks/Elon Musk/SpaceX/ESA/ESO
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