The James Webb Space Telescope will study the universe for 10 years

The James Webb Space Telescope, the most powerful ever, has been launched into space. The telescope lifted off from French Guiana in the early afternoon of December 25, Italian. The launch is an essential step in the project being developed by NASA, the European Agency ESA and the Canadian CNSA. Webb will study the universe from the location he expects to arrive in 4 weeks, about 1.5 million km from Earth. The mission is expected to last 10 years.

The telescope, which includes a 6.5-meter-diameter segmented mirror, will dedicate most of its time to “General Observatory” programmes, a series of projects proposed by the astronomical community around the world to study distant stars and planets. Very distant galaxies, the first galaxies formed in the history of the universe. In the first round of operations, these schedules will reach approximately 6000 hours, or 250 days.

On top of a third of the proposals, chosen last April, are researchers from ESA member states and among them are nine principal researchers working in Italy. Seven of them, under the direction of the National Institute of Astrophysics, will use the JWST to study a series of phenomena: brown dwarfs, objects midway between planets and stars; The birth of stars in “harsh” environments; the origin of powerful jets of matter during star formation; How are the largest galaxies in the universe formed; The role of supermassive black holes in the evolution of galaxies; The first generation of stars in the universe.

“The James Webb Telescope is the most powerful space observatory ever built, and I am very pleased with its launch today, an important milestone that the entire global astronomical community is anxiously awaiting,” comments Marco Taffani, President of the National Institute of Astrophysics.

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“Webb will examine our universe in depth with extraordinary power compared to the other great space telescope, Hubble, which everyone now knows – and adds – in fact, we expect Webb to do a better job, much better. The beginnings of the universe, the first galaxies, their evolution down to the accessible universe near US and extrasolar planets will be some of Webb’s exciting science targets.

Phil Schwartz

"Food expert. Unapologetic bacon maven. Beer enthusiast. Pop cultureaholic. General travel scholar. Total internet buff."

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