James Webb Space Telescope – Infrared eye

James Webb Space Telescope – Infrared eye

James Webb Space Telescope.

This device will change our understanding of the Universe – argue the creators. It was named after the second NASA administrator in history, responsible, among others, for for the Apollo missions. The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) was created thanks to cooperation between NASA and space agencies from Europe (ESA) and Canada (CSA).

Almost 20 years of engineering work.

Rocket launch delayed 16 times. Finally, on October 31, 2021, the successor to the iconic Hubble Telescope (HST) – celebrating 30 years in orbit in 2020 – is finally set to leave Earth. It will start its cosmic journey from the European Space Agency cosmodrome in French Guiana. Due to the fact that the mirror of the Webb telescope consists of 18 hexagonal segments. They can be folded down to a small size, just like the rest of the device. The whole thing will fit in the cargo hold of the Ariane 5 rocket, which will carry the telescope into space. After 30 days, the telescope will reach its final location and gradually unfold. The hexagonal panels will create a mirror 6.5 m in diameter, and its radiation-collecting surface is 25 square meters – five times more than the Hubble mirror.

Construction details:

When unfolded, the panels also give the most desirable, circular shape. This is important because it concentrates the light in the most compact area of the detectors. For example, an oval mirror would produce images elongated in one direction. And a square mirror would send a lot of light off the central area. Webb mirrors are made of beryllium and covered with a thin layer of gold. Which allows them to reflect infrared radiation. Beryllium itself was chosen for its stable properties at very low temperatures. It is also a very light and durable metal.

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