All about James Webb, the largest and most powerful telescope ever sent into space

Building James Webb was a formidable task, bringing together scholars from all over the world, requiring knowledge in a variety of fields. It took 25 years between the first drawings of the telescope and its launch on December 25, 2021. It reached the L2 Lagrange point on January 24. This point, located 1.5 million kilometers from Earth in the opposite direction from the Sun, will provide JWST with the optimal location to carry out its observing mission.

In the initial plan, the JWST was to cost $500 million, but NASA’s delays and the scale of the project quickly blew up the initial budget. This innovative space telescope would have cost an incredible $10 billion, or 20 times more than originally planned.

Getting this machine off the ground was indeed a huge task. The device weighs approximately 6500 kg and has a mirror diameter of 6.5 meters. Finally, the sun visor measures 22 meters by 12, which is equivalent to a tennis court. This disproportionate size allows the telescope to capture maximum brightness from the most distant stars. In fact, James Webb’s priority targets are the oldest galaxies in the universe that appeared only 100 million years after the Big Bang, more than 14 billion years ago.

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