The James Webb Space Telescope, the most powerful space telescope, has finally reached its destination. It was launched as a joint mission by NASA, European Space Agency, and the Canadian Space Agency. On 24th January 2022, it reached its destination. After one month only, it started its journey. At present, the telescope is in its orbit around the Sun, nearly 1 million miles away from the Earth. It will continue its work for more than a decade.
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson proudly announced this achievement by saying,” We’re one step closer to uncovering the mysteries of the universe. And I can’t wait to see Webb’s first new views of the universe this summer!”
NASA confirmed that the James Webb telescope used Rocket Thrusters to land on Sun’s orbit for about five minutes. The 7-ton giant space telescope has already landed on the Second Lagrange point. For scientists, this point has immense importance as the landing spot of the Webb telescope. At this point, the gravitational force of the Sun is equal to that of the Earth. It will orbit the Sun while also moving around its axis from that point.
It started its journey from French Guiana on 25th December 2021. After one week in space, it opened its sun shield, equal inside of a full-fledged tennis court. After a few days, it opened its gold-coated 6.5-meter long primary mirror and ran towards its final destination with full-fledged vigor.
Keith Parrish, another project leader, also confirmed the landing, “Webb is officially on the station,… This is just capping off just 30 days.”
The Webb Space telescope will help astronomers travel back in time to find how the galaxies and constellations were formed 13.7 billion years before. It happened 100 billion years after the Big band created the universe.
Additionally, the space giant will also check out the possibilities of alien life and other possible habitable planets like our Earth.
The James Webb Space Telescope is a modern marvel of technology. The $10 million space telescope is now nearly 4 times the moon’s distance and is slowly unfurling itself.
Despite its launch, there is still more to do before the Webb telescope starts its actual work. Its primary mirror comes with eighteen hexagonal segments. Each segment is equal to the coffee table’s size. Each of these segments needs to be aligned in the right way. Webb will take nearly three months to align its mirrors. Additionally, the infrared detectors require chilling and scientific instruments also need calibration before the Webb telescope starts its work. Interestingly enough, the telescope will always face the night side of our Earth to maintain the frigidity of its precious infrared sensors.
The flight controllers in Baltimore were highly hopeful for the future. James Rigby, the operational project scientist, said that the infrared instruments need time to open. He added that we’re a month in, and the baby hasn’t even opened its eyes yet. But this is what we expected.
However, it is a huge step towards understanding space and its mysteries for astronomers worldwide and space lovers. The James Webb space telescope will offer cleaner images with its huge mirror and unique position. Scientists are eagerly waiting for the Webb telescope to start its work.