HeathcareJames Webb Telescope: Get up close to the new...

James Webb Telescope: Get up close to the new wonder we sent into space


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In these pages we have talked about hubble space telescope since before its launch, aboard the Discovery shuttle in 1990. Today, Hubble is in its last orbits. With cutting-edge technology from three decades ago, this device has given us a level of understanding of the solar system and our galaxy with findings and images that were unthinkable before its journey.

However, this Christmas, the new James Webb telescope, the largest ever sent into space, took off from the Kurú base in French Guiana. This machine has the most advanced technology for the recording of visible and infrared light, data processing and telecommunications, as well as navigation, refrigeration and solar protection equipment.

The new generation

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Although its 6.5 meters in diameter may seem small compared to larger telescopes on the ground, being away from light and other distortions in our atmosphere will allow you to see much farther than any other device of this type. , emitted around the beginning of the universe and that only arrives to us after traveling about 13,500 million light years.

The design of the Webb is very different from the Hubble; both reflect light in a large mirror, but there the similarity ends. Hubble has a 2.4 meter diameter mirror at the bottom of a long tube, which reflects light into a device that records the ultraviolet, visible and near infrared bands.

“The telescope [James Webb] it will orbit the Sun 1.6 million kilometers from Earth ”.

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This triple anastigmatic mirror is an innovation that counteracts partial astigmatism that occurs when the largest concave mirror reflects off a convex lens or mirror. The corrected image appears without distortion in the final lens, which has digital sensors and will record, with two ultra-high definition digital cameras, the images of visible light and infrared.

El Webb It also has two other digital cameras that do a spectrographic analysis of the light, which will help determine the chemical composition of the observed objects.

The James Webb telescope was launched alongside the Ariane 5 rocket in a successful operation.  (THAT)

extreme temperature

The main mirror of the Webb it’s a technological feat that took more than 20 years to develop and build. In reality, it is a mosaic of 18 mirrors, made with a surface based on beryllium, a very light and hard metallic element that maintains its shape and resists distortions at very low temperatures. This is crucial, because in space, without an atmosphere, its surface not exposed to the Sun can be kept at about -223 ºC. Another crucial factor is a mechanism that is responsible for keeping the temperature of the sensors constant.

A third element, the solar protection panel on the side exposed to the Sun, will keep the telescope at adequate temperatures for its operation. Actually, there are five panels, one behind the other, like an accordion of awnings measuring 21 meters by 14 meters that reflects solar radiation; while, on the other side, the telescope and its instruments point in the opposite direction. The panels are made of kapton, an ultra-light polymer the thickness of a hair.

“The design of the Webb is very different from that of the Hubble; both reflect light in a large mirror, but there the similarity ends. “

James E Webb was a key figure in the Apollo moon landing project

distant orbit

. Being in a relatively close orbit allowed astronauts aboard the space shuttle Atlantis to repair it in 1994, giving it a productive 30 years.

With the Webb there is no second chance: the telescope will orbit the Sun 1.6 million kilometers from Earth. , an area of ​​space where an object traveling around the Sun in the same direction as the Earth falls under the combined influence of both gravities, so that it appears to remain fixed in relation to them.

, as it allows us to constantly look out of the solar system, without the Earth or the star appearing ahead.

Test and deployment

The Webb it continues to travel through space on a path that takes it away from Earth at almost one kilometer per second. Initially, inside the rocket that took him into space, an Arianne 5, it had the appearance of a cube of bent iron. Once it broke free from the rocket and inertia continued towards its destination, its panels and mirror began to slowly open and extend into its final shape.

Putting the new space telescope into operation will require almost six months of testing of the orientation, calibration, refrigeration, telecommunication and other equipment systems. We will surely talk more about James Webb space telescope and his discoveries, which would begin to appear shortly after he began his observations.



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