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James Webb Space Telescope Is The Future Of Space Imaging, Will Start Functioning In 2019

First Posted: Jan 11, 2017 03:20 AM EST
James Webb Space Telescope
Reaching beyond the stars in deep space will now be possible.
(Photo : Science Channel/YouTube screenshot)

Now that the Hubble Space Telescope mission is nearing its end, NASA has turned its attention towards the James Webb Space Telescope, which is said to be the future of space imaging.

The James Webb Space Telescope has been under construction for many years and is now in its final stage of testing, before it becomes functional in 2019. NASA has even issued a call for proposals for observation programs, Extreme Tech reported.

Ever since the Hubble Space Telescope was launched by NASA in the 1990, it has provided people knowledge and information regarding the formation of the universe and how it is expanding till the present time. It provided a sneak peek into the dense masses of gas and dust called nebulae and how these are helping in formation of stars. It also provided visual images of distant galaxies, stellar groups of cosmic bodies and stars.

The Hubble Space Telescope also helped in studying gravitationally bound space objects by using the phenomenon of gravitational lensing. It has provided insights into the entire cycle of how stars are formed, how they existed and how they died, according to Forbes.

The new James Webb Space Telescope will also help in doing all these things and much more. It will help humans picture what lies beneath the giant gas masses in detail, which could not be achieved by Hubble. This can be done by virtue of its capability to reach longer wavelengths of light and the huge, large-aperture primary mirror, which can collect more reflected light waves coming from the space.

Experts say that the James Webb Space Telescope will redefine the present understanding of formation of the universe and how it grew up to its present form, populated with numerus galaxies, stars and planets. It is not meant as just a replacement of Hubble Space Telescope, but rather, it is an upgrade of the currently used space telescopes, which will probably help people answer the unsolved mysteries of the universe.

NASA had already spent $8 billion on the newly developed telescope, which is currently under vibration testing to check if any of its parts will dismantle during its launch. NASA is planning to deploy the James Webb Space Telescope in the L2 Lagrange Point unlike the Hubble Space Telescope, which lies in the orbit of Earth.

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