Wednesday, January 26, 2022

It’s a Christmas miracle: the James Webb Space Telescope is on the launch pad!

This year, the scientific community is getting a very long-awaited Christmas present – the long-delayed launch of the James Webb Space Telescope!

The successor to the beloved Hubble, the James Webb Space Telescope, or JWST, was originally slated to launch in 2007. Now, 14 years later, all systems seem to be finally ready to go.

Check it out – new photos from NASA show that the telescope is indeed on the launch pad!

(NASA / Bill Ingalls)

The space telescope is not visible in this photo, but NASA assures us that it is safely hidden inside the Ariane 5 rocket and will go into space.

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope … has arrived at its last location on Earth: the Arianespace ELA-3 Launch Complex at the European spaceport near Kourou, French Guiana, NASA said in an update today.

JWST is scheduled to launch at 12:20 UTC (07:20 EST) on Saturday, December 25th. You can bet we’ll watch it live and post it as soon as we get confirmation that the launch has taken place.

You can watch with us right here live NASA:

The team’s next step will be to run all electrical diagnostics to make sure everything is ready to run. Then we wait and hope for the best.

The telescope is equipped with the famous 6.5 meter (21 ft) wide main mirror, composed of 18 gold-plated segments that will be folded into the nose cone for launch.

It’s safe to say that a lot of people will hold their breath during launch. This mission was called “the most expensive astronomical adventure in history.”

After a 29-day voyage, Ariane5 will place the JWST in its place, about 1.5 million kilometers from our planet. There, hanging in a stable place where the gravitational pull of the Earth and the Sun cancels out each other, the telescope will be able to observe the Universe in more detail than we have ever seen before.

The telescope will mainly carry out observations in the infrared range, while the Hubble will operate mainly in the optical and ultraviolet ranges. This means the JWST will be able to catch objects that are too distant, cold, or dim for Hubble to see.

In theory, the JWST could detect the heat signature of a bumblebee from Earth if it were as far away as the Moon.

What we learn from the JWST will completely change our understanding of the universe, and to be honest, we cannot wait.

Good luck telescope. We are all rooting for you.

Nation World News Desk
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