THE JAMES Webb Space Telescope is due to reach its parking spot in deep space on Monday, according to NASA.
Nearly a month after it launched, the James Webb Space Telescope is finally slipping into its cosmic parking spot today, NASA says.
Webb will be orbitingEarth-sun Lagrange Point 2(L2), which is about 930,000 miles (1.5 million kilometers)from Earth in the direction of Mars, and where the sun and Earth’s gravity are of equal strength.
The telescope will be floating at L2 (even as L2 orbit the sun) to scour the night sky for faint infrared light.
These lights, which could be visible from thefirst generation of stars and galaxies, will help researchers get a better understanding of the early days of our universe.
Some other goals of the Webb mission include glancing at distant exoplanets and hopefully answering some of science’s most important questions like how quickly the universe is expanding.
However, it will take several months to calibrate the telescope and make sure everything is good to go before it can start doing its job.
Some of these tasks include precisely aligning the telescope’s 18 primary mirror segments so they work collectively as a 21.3-foot-wide mirror, which is the largest ever launched.
Astronomer Scott Friedman, who is managing this next phase of Webbs journey, said that “everything could go perfectly, and it would still take six months from launch for the telescope to be ready to collect data.
Once the telescope is ready for action, though, it will be 100 times more powerful thanHubble, according to NASA.
In fact, the instrument will be so sensitive to infrared light that it could detect the heat of a bumblebee as far away as the moon, according to CBS.
Researchers have high hopes for the $10 billion telescope, whichlaunched on December 25 of last year.
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