Saturday, 24 January 2009

The James Webb Space Telescope

Given Below is an artist's impression of The JWST

 The James Webb Space telescope is a space observatory which 'sees' in the infra-red spectrum. It is to be the successor of the famous Hubble Space Telescope. It is an  international collaboration between NASA, the Canadian Space Agency  and the European Space Agency. The Collaboration is led by NASA.

The launch of this telescope is scheduled in 2013. Light based telescopes can see very far into the universe, provided they are pwerful enough. But their range of vision is limited by interstellar dust and clouds of gas. Being able to see in the infra-red spectrum is a big advantage to astronomers. Infra-red radiation, unlike light is able to pass through these clouds of dust and gas and will enable the telescope to obtain photographs of greater detail and clarity. 

The JWST will be placed in one of the special Lagrange points. At this point, the JWST will orbit the Sun with the Earth and Moon behind it at all times. This is to reduce infra-red radiation interference from the sun. The telescope also has a shield which shields it effectively from any radiation coming from the Sun and keeps it at a constant temperature of around 40 Kelvin(-233.15 degrees C). This is to ensure that the telescope's own IR radiation does not interfere with the sensitive instruments. The time taken for the orbit will be one year(Same as that of Earth). 

The telescope is expected to stay in service for atleast five years.

Post a Comment