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The JWST will be ale to look back around 200 million years after the big bang, when the first stars in the Universe formed.
The first stars are thought to have been massive giants made of hydrogen and helium, whose short lives ended in the supernovae that created the heavier elements we detect in younger stars today.
To see this period in cosmic history, we need sensitive infrared instruments to detect the faint traces of light that have travelled through space and time to reach us.
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The JWST will also look back to the very first galaxies in universe to learn mor about their evolution and why there’s so much variety in them. Nearly all the spiral and elliptical galaxies that we see today have experienced at least one collision or merger with another local galaxy.
Dark matter is thought to play an important role in the struycture of the universe, accounting for five times the mass of normal, baryonic matter such as atoms and particles. Considered to be the scaffolding for the Universe, we’re only able to observe dark matter indirectly by measuring how its ...
The JWST will help answer the big question of whether life exist beyond earth by studying a variety of exoplanets - planets outside our solar system
Of particular interest is the TRAPPIST-1 system, where three of its seven planets are in the habitable zone and one may harbour liquid water. ...
Full name: James Webb Space telescope
Size: 21 x 14m (sunshield)
Launch mass: 6,200kg
Cost to build: $10bn
Launch date: 31 October 2021
Expected first images: 2-3 mo...
Dwarf planet pluto and its fellow Kuiper Belt Objects will also be receiving some observation time.
The JWST is powerful enough to study such icy bodies including comets, which are often-pristine leftovers from our Solar System’s days of planet formation and could hold clues to Earth’s orig...
While the JWST's primary science aims lie more in cosmology and star formation, it’ll also take a closer look at a couple of familiar objects – our ice giants, Neptune and Uranus.
The JWST will map their atmospheric temperatures and chemical composition to see how different they are – not o...
The James Webb Space telescope will image the little-known places in the Milky Way and beyond. Here are just a few of the things it hopes to see and the tech it will use to see them.
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