Telescope Advances Space Knowledge

Discovery allows for clearer picture of the beginning of space

Gunnar Johnson, Contributing Writer

The James Webb Space Telescope has been successfully launched into orbit and has just captured its first photos. The 10 billion dollar telescope has 18 golden mirrors that help it achieve incredible view distances. Unlike the Hubble Telescope, which blasted up in 1990, that orbits the earth, the Webb Telescope will orbit the Sun about 1 million miles away. Unfortunately, we cannot view the pictures yet because astronomers need to fine-tune the telescope. The telescope’s construction can capture the universe’s early days and penetrate dust clouds. To achieve this, the infrared sensors in the telescope will be at temperatures close to -389ºF, with one being at -447ºF. Specifically, the telescope is designed to see infrared light, which is why the instruments need to be so cold. 

Physics teacher Jeff Trinh describes the telescope’s success as “an important collaboration between countries for a common goal” and  “to provide a better understanding of the start of the universe.” Additionally, the telescope will serve as a platform for astronomers to test their theories. Before the James Webb Telescope, The Hubble Telescope helped astronomers figure out the universe’s rate of expansion. Trinh also sees the telescope as “  “The James Webb Telescope is the bigger and better successor to the Hubble telescope, which, according to Nasa, can provide information about habitable planets and other unknown things about the universe.