Webb Is About to Reveal The Deepest View of The Universe Ever

According to NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, the fully operational James Webb Space Telescope will enable NASA to show the "deepest view of our Universe" on July 12.

"If you think about that, this is farther than humanity has ever looked before," Nelson made this statement at a press conference held at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, the observatory's operations hub. The observatory, which cost US$10 billion and was launched in December of last year, is currently orbiting the Sun at a distance of one million miles (1.5 million kilometers) from Earth.

With its huge main mirror and infrared-focused equipment, Webb is a marvel of engineering that can see farther into the universe than any telescope before it. This allows it to see through dust and gas.

"It's going to explore objects in the solar system and atmospheres of exoplanets orbiting other stars, giving us clues as to whether potentially their atmospheres are similar to our own," Nelson continued over the phone while he was using COVID-19 to isolate.

"It may answer some questions that we have: Where do we come from? What more is out there? Who are we? And of course, it's going to answer some questions that we don't even know what the questions are."

Webb can see farther back in time to the Big Bang, which took place 13.8 billion years ago, thanks to its infrared capabilities.

The light from the first stars moves from the shorter ultraviolet and visible wavelengths it was released in to longer infrared wavelengths as the universe expands, which Webb is able to detect with an unmatched resolution.

The oldest cosmic observations to yet have been made within 330 million years of the Big Bang, but scientists anticipate easily breaking this record given Webb's capabilities.

20 year life

More good news came from NASA deputy administrator Pam Melroy, who said that the telescope might operate for 20 years, which is twice as long as was initially planned, due to an effective launch by NASA's partner Arianespace.

"Not only will those 20 years allow us to go deeper into history, and time, but we will go deeper into science because we have the opportunity to learn and grow and make new observations," she explained.

According to NASA's chief scientist Thomas Zurbuchen, the agency also plans to release Webb's initial spectroscopy of an exoplanet on July 12.

A planetary spectrum may be used to assess its atmosphere and other characteristics, including whether it contains water and the nature of its surface, using spectroscopy, a technique for analyzing the chemical and molecular composition of distant objects.

"Right from the beginning, we'll look at these worlds out there that keep us awake at night as we look into the starry sky and wonder as we're looking out there, is there life elsewhere?" Zurbuchen stated.

In comparison to what Webb might achieve, Nestor Espinoza, an astronomer at the STSI, told AFP that earlier exoplanet spectroscopies performed with current devices were quite restricted.

"It's like being in a room that is very dark and you only have a little pinhole you can look through," he said, of current technology. Now, with Webb, "You've opened a huge window, you can see all the little details."
Webb Is About to Reveal The Deepest View of The Universe Ever Webb Is About to Reveal The Deepest View of The Universe Ever Reviewed by Lilit on July 01, 2022 Rating: 5
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