NASA has successfully completed building its largest space telescope, which will be 100 times more powerful than the Hubble probe and may find the first galaxies that formed in the early universe.
The James Webb Space Telescope will be the successor to NASA’s 26-year-old Hubble Space Telescope. The Webb telescope’s infrared cameras are so sensitive that it needs to be shielded from the rays of the Sun.
A 5-layer sunshield of the sizer of a tennis court will prevent the background heat from the Sun from interfering with the telescope’s infrared sensors.
NASA administrator Charles Bolden announced that the agency had finished construction earlier this week on the James Webb Space Telescope, an $8.8bn giant whose 18 gold-coated, hexagonal plates that span the length of a tennis court and which, from bottom to top, is as tall as a three-storey building.
The JWST’s greater power will also mean that it can see planets in greater power will also mean that it can see planets in greater detail, letting scientist look for atmospheres, seasons and even weather or signs of life. Mather said the telescope will have “Seven time the collecting area” of Hubble, and enough power to detect the body heat of a bumblebee on the moon.