There’s gonna be less space in space, because the newest clutter is the most powerful telescope ever hurled into the heavens, and it promises a new, never-before-seen look that could alter the way earthlings live.
We’re talkin’ The James Webb Space Telescope, which lifted off early Xmas morning from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana.
NASA described the launch this way … “At 7:20am ET (12:20 UTC), the beginning of a new, exciting decade of science climbed to the sky. Webb’s mission to #UnfoldTheUniverse will change our understanding of space as we know it.”
That may not be an overstatement … the telescope is the most powerful and most complex … a space observatory that will study exoplanets — those are planets outside our solar system.
Thing is … scientists think some of the exoplanets could be habitable, and that means 1) is there existing life on any of them? And 2) could we live there either by choice or necessity?
There have been years of delay in launching the scope for various reasons. As for specs — its mirror can extend more than 21 feet, which gives it the ability to capture more light from the objects it’s photographing … and that will enhance the details scientists will study.
The mirror has 18 hexagonal, gold-coated segments … fancy!
Bottom line … scientists should be able to see things, including planets, they’ve never seen before.
BTW … to give you an idea of the effort that went into this … for the last 17 years, scientists and engineers from 14 countries have invested 40 million hours getting the telescope up and running.
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