James Webb Space Telescope Has Reached L2!!

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Real Name: Suresh Sreenivasan
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James Webb Space Telescope Has Reached L2!!

Post by Sureshks »

Today the James Webb Space Telescope has reached it's parking spot near Earth's L2 Lagrange Point!!

It is now 907,530 miles from Earth. The space telescope will remain in a halo orbit around L2, which will counter-balance gravity from the Earth and Sun and allow the telescope to remain in a relatively fixed position. Astronomers picked this location because it enables the telescope to work in infrared light without interference from Earth. It also helps the telescope reach and maintain a cooler temperature (which is important for infrared observations), and operate in the coming years with a minimal use of its limited fuel supply.

The mission was expected to last only about 10 years. But with an optimal launch and cruise to L2, the team now believes JWST can be used for more than 20 years! Since it is nearly a million miles from Earth, there is currently no way for astronauts to service or refuel it (unlike Hubble). JWST is perhaps the most complex mission undertaken in space to-date.

Now the JWST team will spend about six months aligning and calibrating the 18 individual mirrors until they function as one integrated 6.5 meter mirror. Sometime in June or July we should start getting the first "perfect" images... and see what this $10 billion space telescope can really do...

https://www.space.com/james-webb-arriva ... AbMbl0dekw

Suresh Sreenivasan
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