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James Webb Telescope UPSC NOTE

 Why in News

  • The James Webb Space Telescope since becoming operational in 2022 has uncovered numerous surprises about what things were like in the universe’s early stages. 

  • We now can add one more: observations of a galaxy that was already ‘dead; when the universe was only 5% of its current age.

  • Scientists said on March 6 Webb had spotted a galaxy where star formation had already ceased by roughly 13.1 billion years ago.

  • 700 million years after the Big Bang event that gave rise to the universe

  • Many dead galaxies have been detected over the years, but this is the earliest by about 500 million years.

James Webb Telescope – Basic details

  • The James Webb Space Telescope is a large space telescope launched in December 2021

  • It is the most powerful telescope ever built and is designed to observe the universe in the infrared spectrum. 

  • This allows it to see further back in time than any other telescope, to the early universe shortly after the Big Bang.

  • The telescope is named after James E. Webb, who was the administrator of NASA from 1961 to 1967. 

  • Webb played a key role in the Apollo program that landed the first humans on the Moon.

  • The James Webb Space Telescope is an international collaboration between NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA)

Key features of the telescope:

  • Large mirror: The telescope has a primary mirror that is 6.5 meters (21.3 feet) in diameter

  • This is much larger than the mirror of the Hubble Space Telescope, which is 2.4 meters (7.9 feet) in diameter. 

  • The larger mirror allows the James Webb Space Telescope to collect more light, which means that it can see fainter objects.

  • Infrared vision: The telescope is designed to observe the universe in the infrared spectrum.

  • This is because infrared light can penetrate dust clouds that block visible light

  • This allows the James Webb Space Telescope to see objects that are hidden from other telescopes, such as young stars and planets that are still forming.

  • Cold operating temperature: The telescope must operate at a very cold temperature in order to detect faint infrared signals

  • To achieve this, the telescope is located in a special orbit around the Sun called a Lagrange point

  • At this point, the telescope is constantly in shadow from both the Sun and the Earth, which helps it to stay cool.


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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: James Webb Telescope UPSC NOTE
James Webb Telescope UPSC NOTE
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