Here’s what the James Webb Space Telescope will research in its first yr

Artist's impression of the James Webb Space Telescope
Artist’s impression of the James Webb Space Telescope ESA/ATG medialab

The Hubble Space Telescope is a beloved scientific establishment, however at greater than 20 years previous it’s getting quite lengthy within the tooth. That’s why NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) are becoming a member of forces to create the James Webb Space Telescope, a cutting-edge astronomy instrument that’s set to launch later this yr.

The devices on board James Webb will allow science discoveries past something attainable proper now, comparable to exoplanets to see if they’ve atmospheres and whether or not any may be like Earth.

But exoplanet atmospheres aren’t the one subject that Webb might be researching. This week, NASA officers have introduced the roster of scientific packages which the telescope will research in its first yr. This contains packages to analysis how stars are fashioned, analysis into the local weather and composition of our bodies like planets and comets inside our personal photo voltaic system, and even packages to review the formation of the universe itself by in search of the earliest galaxies.

“The initial year of Webb’s observations will provide the first opportunity for a diverse range of scientists around the world to observe particular targets with NASA’s next great space observatory,” stated Dr. Thomas Zurbuchen, Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA in a press release. “The amazing science that will be shared with the global community will be audacious and profound.”

All of those packages might be part of Cycle 1, which is the title for the primary yr of the telescope’s science operations. In whole 266 proposals have been chosen from a extremely aggressive pool of hundreds, as many extra researchers would love time on the telescope than is offered. The committee in command of the choice needed to whittle down the proposals to essentially the most scientifically beneficial, and so they ended up awarding 6,000 hours of time on the telescope to the varied tasks.

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“We are opening the infrared treasure chest, and surprises are guaranteed,” stated Dr. John C. Mather, Senior Project Scientist for the Webb mission and Senior Astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “How did the universe make galaxies, stars, black holes, and planets, and our own very special little Earth? I don’t know yet, but we are getting closer every day.”

You can see a full record of all of the packages deliberate for Webb’s first yr of operations right here.

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