The Hubble Space Telescope has been our window into the universe since the 1990s, showing us just how vast and expansive the cosmos really are. In fact, the Hubble Deep Field photo revealed to us that there are far more galaxies in the universe than there are grains of sand on all of Earth’s beaches combined. Each galaxy is home to millions of stars, many of which are much larger and brighter than our own Sun.
A New Era of Space Observation
The Hubble Space Telescope has been our trusty space companion for over three decades, showing us the wonders of the universe around us. It gave us the famous Hubble Deep Field photo, which revealed thousands of galaxies, each with millions of stars. But now, we’ve got a new kid on the block, the JWST, and it’s already surpassing the Hubble in terms of power and capabilities.
Introducing the James Webb Space Telescope
Now, the James Webb Space Telescope, or JWST for short, has taken over as the newest and most powerful tool for exploring the universe. Launched in December 2021, the JWST is a massive infrared telescope that is 100 times more powerful than the Hubble.
The JWST is located in an extraordinary halo orbit, circling around a point in space known as the Sun-Earth L2 Lagrange point, which is around 1.5 million kilometers beyond Earth’s orbit around the Sun. That’s almost four times the distance from Earth to the Moon!
Sun Shields for Protection
But it’s not just distance that makes the JWST special. It also has five massive sun shields, each the size of a tennis court, that protect the telescope from the heat and light of the Sun, Earth, and even the telescope’s own electronics. With these shields, the JWST can capture stunning, detailed images of deep space that we’ve never seen before.
The First Full-Color Images Captured by JWST
Recently, on July 12, 2022, NASA released the first full-color images captured by the JWST. These images are absolutely breathtaking and allow us to see the universe in an entirely new way.
Embracing the Potential of JWST
Some people are worried that the JWST could make Hubble, and other space telescopes, obsolete. But I think that’s missing the point. The JWST has the potential to unlock even more secrets of the universe, and it will likely work in tandem with other telescopes to give us a fuller understanding of the cosmos.
In conclusion, the JWST is an incredible tool that will take us to the next level of space observation. It’s a giant leap forward for our understanding of the universe, and I’m excited to see what it will reveal to us in the years to come.