Webb Space Telescope next steps on its journey into space

The representation of the James Webb Space Telescope has been fully revealed.

the Web Space Telescope I left the land safe and sound during the morning AndlifeAnd astronomers around the world sighed with relief. But the next few weeks contain a series of hurdles that must be overcome before the $10 billion telescope can begin its science missions. On the night of Monday, December 27, Webb officially exceeded the moon’s orbital distance, traveling more than 2,800 kilometers per hour on its way to its final destination.

At the time of writing, the telescope is more than 490,000 kilometers from Earth, about a third of the way to its destination, a point in space called L2. (You can check the file Website here). The telescope’s current deployment step is what NASA calls a “mid-course correction second burn,” that is, the second use of fuel to correct the spacecraft’s path toward its destination. The next step, which will take place today (Tuesday, December 28), is the start of the critical parachute deployment, which will protect the astronomical data Webb collects from the heat. According to NASA, this would be “one of the most difficult spacecraft deployments NASA has ever attempted.”

the platforms From parachutes in the next few days, like butterfly wings emerging from a cocoon. Within a week, the sun canopy will be fully opened, followed by the mirrors and mirror wings. The entire spacecraft will be deployed by the end of the first week of January 2022, but there are many things that can still go wrong with these steps, even though the hardest part of the process (the launch) is now complete.

Its destination, Lagrange Point 2, also known as L2, is ideal for a telescope trying to see some of the oldest stars in the universe. how pointed out NASA, L2 is good for astronomy because it is relatively close to Earth and can keep the Earth, Moon and Sun behind for an unobstructed view of the universe. L2 is located about 1.6 million kilometers from Earth, so it will take the telescope a month to get there.

Las primeras imágenes de Webb se esperan para junio de 2022, suponiendo que todo vaya bien en las próximas semanas. Los científicos esperan utilizar las observaciones del telescopio para aprender más sobre los primeros momentos del universo, encontrar exoplanetas potentially habitable We better understand how galaxies form and evolve.

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