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Space & Astronomy

James Webb Space Telescope arrives at its destination

By T.K. Randall
January 27, 2022 · Comment icon 6 comments



Not too long to wait now. Image Credit: NASA
The next-generation telescope has reached the L2 Legrange point where it will begin a 6-month commissioning process.
It's fair to say that prior to the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope - which had taken several decades and billions of dollars to design and build - there was a sizeable amount of anxiety and trepidation among those who had spent the better part of their lives working on it.

Those fears soon began to melt away, however, as the telescope soared into the heavens just in time for Christmas. In the weeks since, the James Webb has succeeded in not only reaching its final destination (the L2 Legrange point which is four times further away than the Moon) but also in unfolding itself - each step representing a minor victory and facilitating a collective sigh of relief.

What will follow now is a six-month commissioning process, after which astronomers will finally get to start putting the telescope through its paces - capturing images of the cosmos unlike any seen before.
NASA has picked 13 teams who will be the first to use it to view targets ranging from distant objects far out in space to the planet Jupiter - one of the brightest objects in the night sky.

"They (NASA) wanted to get involvement from the astronomy community to see what is feasible, what Webb can do, and really pushing it to the limits," said astronomer Prof Imke de Pater.

"We came up with the idea to look at the Jovian system, because Jupiter is extremely bright, but next to Jupiter, you have these really faint rings and some really faint satellites."

So while we will just need to be patient for a little while longer, once the James Webb Space Telescope does begin operating, the photographs it takes should keep astronomers busy for decades to come.

Source: Phys.org | Comments (6)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Twin 10 months ago
I want one. :-(
Comment icon #2 Posted by psyche101 10 months ago
Looking forward to the images .
Comment icon #3 Posted by khol 10 months ago
 
Comment icon #4 Posted by Seti42 10 months ago
I've really enjoyed Hubble images and I can't wait to get at some from the JW. I love how the full size files are in the public domain, too (as they should be, taxes paid for them). I will likely print a few for framing. I have several NASA/JPL photos on my walls.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Earl.Of.Trumps 10 months ago
ya think if they aimed it back to Earth, they could get some clear pics of BigFoot?  a first of its kind
Comment icon #6 Posted by Eldorado 10 months ago
Nasa unveils first images from world’s most advanced telescope in ‘pinnacle moment’ It reached its final destination, Lagrange 2 (L2), two weeks ago and the images released on Friday are the first rays of light processed by the $10billion (£7.4billion) machine. MSN


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