Have you ever imagined a time machine would be real? Yes, NASA has invented a time machine known as James Webb Space Telescope that may change the destiny of the entire humanity. They launched the telescope on December 24, 2021 which would observe the early universe beyond everything to discover the dark sides of Earth. This is actually a cosmic time machine, capable of observing galaxies and stars as they were as recently as 100 million years after the Big Bang, the universe’s unimaginably fierce genesis.
This telescope is named after John Webb who was a NASA administrator worked in the space agency during 1960s. His tenure was indicated as a golden period for the space agency. It was in his period, Neil Armstrong put his first step on the moon in 1969, which happened just before Mr. Webb left the organization.
It will look back more than 13.5 billion years to detect dim infrared light from the early galaxies, revealing the unexplored era of cosmic history that influenced the universe we know today. John Mather, the mission’s lead project scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland said that this telescope is so powerful that we can see you even if you’re a bumble bee 240,000 miles away, which is the distance between the Earth and the moon.
This telescope can view everything from the furthest galaxies in the universe to planets, moons, asteroids, and comets in our own solar system. Webb will be able to see details that no previous space observatory has seen since Galileo’s first telescope in 1609, when he revolutionised astronomy with his first telescope.
Pam Melroy, NASA’s deputy administrator said that this is a kind of experiment that occurs once-in-a-lifetime. NASA continues to push the limits of what is possible, and this is such an exciting time. For centuries, humans have gazed up at the sky and fantasied about attempting to answer the big questions. What was the beginning of the universe? Is there any life beyond Earth? Melroy ensures that Webb is going show us how the cosmos was formed. This telescope exemplifies the type of people who are interested for research and exploration for which our space program was founded.
The James Webb Space Telescope is the biggest astronomical observatory ever launched into space, having been developed over a quarter-century and with designs dating back even farther. Its primary mirror is built of 18 hexagonal segments of beryllium that have been coated with a thin coating of gold and polished to strict cleanliness standards. Inside the telescope are four infrared instruments, each adjusted for a distinct task. The instruments, when combined, will provide astronomers with their most powerful tool in history. Webb will be able to view stars and galaxies that are 100 times fainter than before.
Webb is folded up to fit within the payload shroud of the Ariane 5. About 27 minutes after liftoff, the spacecraft will detach from the Ariane 5 and undergo a sequence of key deployments to rearrange itself into a discovery machine. A solar array and dirigible antenna will unfold, followed by a sun shield in the size of a tennis court to begin chilling the science equipment and mirrors to minus 388 degrees Fahrenheit, barely 40 Kelvin degrees above zero.
Each wings contain three of the 18 mirror segments, that would swing allowing the central mirror to take on its final shape. And a secondary mirror boom will be deployed, perfectly aligned to bounce light captured by the first mirror directly into Webb’s instrument module, which houses a suite of sophisticated infrared detectors.
Webb will reach the orbit in a month, at the L2 Lagrange point which is a gravitationally stable place almost a million miles from Earth. The teams operating Webb will spend the next five months precisely aligning the mirrors, bringing the telescope into focus as it settles to its final working temperature. Webb will capture its first scientific photographs for public distribution in six months.