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Ancient galaxies

Ancient galaxies

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.

Yet older galaxies look entirely different to their modern counterparts – smaller, clumpier, less structured. 

Examining galaxies can also inform us of the macrostructure of the Universe and how it’s organised on a large scale.


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The early universe

The early universe

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 det...


107 reads

Top part

Top part

  1. Secondary mirror: Reflects light from primary mirror and focuses it into the Integrated Science Instrument Module (ISIM).
  2. Primary mirror: 18 hexagonal segments, coated with gold, capture the light from distant celestial objects.
  3. Sunsh...


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 Bottom parts

Bottom parts

  1. ISIM: The Integrated Science Instrument Module produces images from light captured by secondary mirror.
  2. Spacecraft bus: Contains most of the steering and control machinery.
  3. Star trackers: Small telescopes that observe star pa...


67 reads

Dark matter

Dark matter

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 ...


49 reads

Exoplanets atmospheres

Exoplanets atmospheres

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. ...


43 reads

JWST: The facts

JWST: The facts

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...


105 reads

Pluto and the kuiper belt objects

Pluto and the kuiper belt objects

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...


50 reads

Our ice giants

Our ice giants

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...


38 reads

The James Webb Space telescope

The James Webb Space telescope

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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