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The Jame Webb Space Telescope launches on December 18th and that’s why it’s going to change everything

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Astronomers around the world have been waiting for the operationalization of the Jame Webb Space Telescope for about two decades. At the latest news, NASA has just announced that the powerful instrument will finally be launched towards the end of this year, more precisely on December 18, 2021. Engineers have finally completed the preparatory work necessary for the launch, five years after the construction of the observatory whose value is estimated at 10 billion dollars.

Thus, the successor to Hubble will be launched from the European spaceport in French Guiana on board the Ariane 5 rocket, during flight VA256. As a reminder, the goal of this project, carried out jointly by ESA, NASA and the CSA (the Canadian space agency), is to go back further in the history of the universe. The telescope embeds cutting-edge technologies capable of scientific feats never before accomplished until today.

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Note that the launch date of the Jame Webb Space Telescope has been postponed several times. The most recent was October 31, 2021.

The most powerful and complex telescope ever launched

Concretely, astronomers will use the telescope to map dark matter around galaxies to unravel their mysteries. They will also use it to study the chemical composition of distant planets and assess their habitability.

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For Caroline Harper, head of space science at the British Space Agency, the James Webb Space Telescope will be the most powerful and complex telescope ever launched.

“It will advance our understanding of the universe by allowing scientists to research the unobserved formation of early galaxies and look inside the dust clouds where stars and planetary systems form today.” “

Caroline Harper

The discovery of the first sign of extraterrestrial life before 2026?

In addition, the observatory is equipped with a medium infrared instrument. This tool will allow researchers to analyze the physical and chemical properties of objects in the early universe with more precision than before.

“As we move closer to launch, we move closer to understanding the universe and our place in it. “

Caroline Harper

This telescope was specifically designed to detect the signatures of living things. Ohio state researchers believe he may be able to find “Life on another planet in less than 60 hours”.

Caprice Phillips, a graduate student who was particularly interested in studying the abilities of this instrument, said we could, “Realistically, find signs of life in the next 5 to 10 years”. According to the results of its analysis, the spacecraft would be able to detect ammonia around gaseous dwarf planets after only a few orbits.


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