Science and Technology 

The James Webb Space Telescope Is Ready for Launch

The James Webb Space Telescope Is Ready for Launch
Science and Technology 

The James Webb Space Telescope Is Ready for Launch

Clara Moskowitz  Chris Gunn   /  Source:  Scientific American
22/12/2021


As a NASA photographer, Chris Gunn has been documenting the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) from its early days. Since 2009 he has captured every milestone and witnessed nearly all the pieces of the spacecraft being put together and tested. The telescope is scheduled to reach space in December, and in the months that follow it will open its 6.5-meter-diameter eye on the sky. At this point, the subject of Gunn’s photography will become a photographer itself. “Seeing those first-light images is what’s most important to me,” Gunn says.

A joint project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency, JWST will observe some of the oldest galaxies in the universe, image new planets and solar systems forming around other stars, and even probe the planets of our own system in new detail. The most ambitious and expensive telescope ever built, the $10-billion Webb is optimized to observe infrared light, the better to study objects from the distant and ancient universe. “We’ve been waiting for an observatory like this for a while,” says Knicole Colon, deputy project scientist for exoplanet science for JWST. “Webb will see back to the very earliest galaxies, as far back in time as we can, and the sensitivity of the telescope will let us see deeper into exoplanet atmospheres than we’ve ever seen.”...

Scientific American: At Long Last, the James Webb Space Telescope Is Ready for Launch


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