For more than two decades, NASA engineers have been working on the creation of the James Webb Space Telescope. This is an incredibly powerful tool that should replace the Hubble telescope. Everything indicates that the telescope should be launched soon.
Many researchers are looking forward to this moment, because James Webb will help solve many of the mysteries of the universe. In addition, he will have to explore 7 potentially habitable worlds in the TRAPPIST-1 system.
Planet Stars TRAPPIST-1 can be life friendly
James Webb should start in 2021 and he will have to become a super-best version of Hubble. It will be installed at a distance of about 1.7 million km from the planet, which will make it possible to observe near and middle infrared light. Due to this, you can look deeper into space. In addition, it is a huge tool.
Astrophysicist Amber Straug says:
“If Hubble is the size of a school bus, then James Webb is like a tennis court”.
The new telescope will have to perform a wide variety of scientific tasks. Since James Webb can look deeper into outer space, he will find more ancient stars and galaxies, which will reveal the secrets of the reionization period after the Big Bang.
Comparison of the size of the Hubble telescope and the James Webb telescope In addition, James Webb will improve our understanding of exoplanets. Now scientists are limited to transit spectroscopy. This is a method of searching for exoplanets, based on reducing the star's light level when the planet passes in front of it. But James Webb will improve observations through transmission spectroscopy.
“We want to observe how these planets rotate in front of a star. We will see how the starlight passes through their atmosphere, and we can decipher its composition. ”
The artistic vision of the telescope of James Webb
Until now, this has not been possible to do, because there was not enough technological development. But Straugn also notes that this is an incredibly complex process:
“The stars are bright, the planets as tiny as their atmospheric layer. Therefore, we are interested in testing James Webb on the TRAPPIST-1 star system. This is a tiny weak star with many planets, three of which are located in the habitable area. ”
NASA is still working on the telescope. They have already invested more than $ 8 billion. It is important to anticipate all potential problems, because the agency will not be able to carry out maintenance in space.
Scientists believe that such sacrifices are worth it if James Webb gets new data on the TRAPPIST-1 system or makes another important discovery.