Two weeks after launch, the James Webb Space Telescope finally unfolded its primary mirror because it began the final step of deployment. The telescope is by far the most powerful device of its kind launched into space.
The US$10 billion telescope was launched on Christmas Day from the European Space Agency’s launch site in French Guiana, only two weeks after launching its honeycomb primary mirror on Saturday. In the past two weeks, the reflective silver visor and secondary mirror of the telescope have been successfully deployed. The primary mirror is the last obstacle to the operation of the telescope.
The 3D rendering shared by NASA at the scene showed that the mirror was opened, and the engineers on Earth were celebrating.
“I just see the mirror unfolding together now, and I can feel this light on my chest,” NASA scientist Michel Tuller said in the space agency’s live broadcast.
The main mirror spans 6.5 meters (21 feet 4 inches) and is held at a stable 40 degrees Kelvin (-380°F/-233°C) by a tennis court-sized sun visor. The main mirror will receive infrared rays from deep outside Light. space. Unlike the Hubble Space Telescope it replaces, Weber will scan the spectrum that is invisible to the human eye in order to find the first signs of stars and galaxies formed after the Big Bang.
The telescope will also be able to examine the atmospheric composition of exoplanets and help find terrestrial planets where life may exist.
Weber is about two weeks away from the final destination of the second solar-terrestrial Lagrangian point (L2), and is about 1.5 million kilometers (1 million miles) away from the sun than the earth. Once there, it will orbit the sun for about 10 years.
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