Its likely, though unsure that the first ever telescope was created in the Netherlands in 1608, by the makers Hans Lippershey and Zacharias Jannesn. However the first ever real evidence came a year later when Galilieo heard about the invention and designed his own. While using it, he was able to make out mountains on the moon, while also discovering the rings of saturn. Contrastingly a modern day telescope that ranges from 100-500 dollar; can expect to see the Moon and its craters, planets like Jupiter and Saturn with their moons and rings, and some of the brighter deep-sky objects such as the Orion Nebula and the Andromeda Galaxy.
The James Webb Telescope is the largest and most powerful telescope ever sent to space(The significance of the telescope being situated in space allows the telescope the luxury of not needing to look through the earth’s atmosphere which contributes to its ability to see early light). It was a creation of a partnership between NASA, the ESA and the CSA. When launched on December 25th 2021. Its main objective was to allow scientists to see what the universe was like 200 million years after the Big Bang. Unlike its predecessor the Hubble Space Telescope, the James Webb sees light in the infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum, which allows it to see through cosmic dust clouds, hence allowing it to see further. Another one of its primary goals is to study the origins of life;in search of the building blocks of life elsewhere in the universe.
The telescope consists of a polished mirror area(optical telescope element) of 26.3 m2 which is coated in gold(to provide infrared reflectivity). The camera and integral instruments are all part of the integrated science instrument module. The sunshield main goal is to separate the telescope into 2 sides; the sun-facing and anti-sun facing, as different components operate at different temperatures. Finally the spacecraft bus provides the support functions for the operation:the Electrical Power Subsystem, the Attitude Control Subsystem, the Communication Subsystem, the Command and Data Handling Subsystem, the Propulsion Subsystem, and the Thermal Control Subsystem.
To conclude below are some significant photos taken by the JSWT till date:
Written by Hemal Nayyar