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UPSC Mains 2022

Launched on 25th December, 2021, James Webb Space Telescope has been much in the news since then. What are its unique features which make it superior to its predecessor Space Telescopes? What are the key goals of this mission? What potential benefits does it hold for the human race?

General Studies Paper - 3, Topic: Science and Technology

Jan 03, 2023

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The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is a space telescope that was launched on October 31, 2021. It is the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope and is designed to be even more powerful and capable. Some of the unique features that make the JWST superior to its predecessor include:

 

1. Infrared capabilities: The JWST has much more sensitive detectors and a larger mirror than the Hubble, which allows it to observe objects in the universe in much greater detail and at much greater distances. It is especially sensitive to infrared radiation, which means it can see through dust and gas that would block visible light.

 

2. Sunshield: The JWST has a large sunshield that helps to keep the telescope cool and protects it from the heat of the sun. This allows it to observe the universe at much longer wavelengths and with much greater sensitivity.

 

3. Deployable design: The JWST is designed to be deployed in space, which means that it can be folded up and launched on a rocket. This allows it to be much larger than a telescope that must be launched fully assembled.

 

The key goals of the JWST mission are to study the early universe, including the formation of the first stars and galaxies, and to search for signs of life on exoplanets. It is also expected to provide new insights into the atmospheres and surfaces of planets in our own solar system and beyond.

 

The potential benefits of the JWST for the human race are vast. It has the potential to revolutionize our understanding of the universe and our place in it, and could lead to the discovery of new worlds and the development of new technologies. It could also help us to better understand the origins and evolution of life in the universe, and could provide new insights into the nature of dark matter and dark energy. Overall, the JWST has the potential to be a truly transformative mission that will shape our understanding of the universe for generations to come.

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