NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), joint collaboration among NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Canadian Space Agency, was launched at the L2 by an Ariane 5 rocket.
Unique features of James Webb Space Telescope
- It is the most powerful infrared telescope, 100 times more sensitive than the Hubble telescope (HT). It can see through the dust of clouds. It is only at infrared wavelengths that we can see the first stars and galaxies forming after the Big Bang.
- Tennis-court-sized deployable sunshield will keep JWST in perpetual shadow.
- It is placed at L2. L2 is a cool place, increasing the sensitivity of the telescope.
- It works in the longer wavelength region (far infrared) than HT. So the James Webb Space Telescope will enable us to see the far side of the universe, unknown till date, formation of early galaxies, the beginning of time.
Key goals – JWST’s primary aim is to shed light on our cosmic origins: it will observe the Universe’s first galaxies, reveal the birth of stars and planets, and look for exoplanets with the potential for life.
Potential benefits of JWST
- Scientific developments
- Search of an answer to questions of origin of earth
- Boost to the satellite launch system, sensors, semiconductor industry etc
- Detect atmospheric changes and understand the impact of global warming and climate change.
- Predicting solar flares and sunspots.
- Mineral exploration.
JWST is expected to reveal new and unexpected discoveries, and help humanity understand the origins of the universe and our place in it.