UPDATE January 25, 2024: NASA’s James Webb telescope arrives at its extraordinary point in space. The reason why it's location is so special is here.
UPDATE: Christmas Morning the Webb telescope flawlessly blasted off aboard an Ariane 5 rocket for its one month and one million mile journey to its parking spot where its work begins.
The Webb Space Telescope Will Rewrite Cosmic History.
Intro - by Will Wainwright
The James Webb Space Telescope has been conceived and designed to answer many of the fundamental questions that astronomers have asked over the past half-century. With a $10 billion price tag, This Space Telescope is one of the most ambitious engineering initiatives ever attempted. But for it to achieve its potential — nothing less than to rewrite the history of the cosmos and reshape humanity’s position within it — a lot of things have to work just right.
This column and Video's have been updated December 26, after the Webb Space Telescope's successful lift off from French Guiana, on an Ariane 5 rocket for a trip of one month to its predetermined parking position one Million miles in space, where Earth's gravity and the Sun's gravity cancel out and too far for astronauts to fix if something goes wrong. This, while we all wait a month more for the Webb to become fully operational.
The telescope itself is so much more, than a larger Hubble. It sees ten times furthure and not only optically but also in the infrared which is not possible near or even close to earth. The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is capable of picking up a bumblebee’s radiated body heat, at the distance of the moon to earth away from the telescope !
This writer has a particular interest in the exploration of exoplanets. Particularly one of the most exciting planets that that the JWST is going to see, is in the TRAPPIST-1 System. (39.46 light years away) It’s star is just about the size of Jupiter so it’s very small but it has seven earth science planets orbiting around the star. three of those planets could be potentially habitable for life.
The (JWST) was first envisioned and sketched. thirty years ago. The telescope is 14 years behind schedule and 20 times over budget. “We’ve worked as hard as we could to catch all of our mistakes and test and rehearse,” said John Mather, the Nobel Prize-winning astrophysicist who has been chief scientist of the NASA-led project for 25 years. Now, he said, “we’re going to put our zillion-dollar telescope on top of a stack of explosive material” and turn things over to fate.” Will it be an end to our Cosmic Loneliness? Lets Pray.
Rather than get into the specifics, we will let the two masterfully done videos explain it all.
How NASA’s Webb Telescope. launched Christmas day, Will Transform Our Place in the Universe (9:40 Min)