The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is a space telescope designed to conduct infrared astronomy. It is named after James E. Webb, who served as the second administrator of NASA from 1961 to 1968 and played a key role in the Apollo program 1. The JWST is the largest, most powerful space telescope ever built, with a primary mirror that is 6.5 meters in diameter 1. It is designed to study every phase of cosmic history, from within our solar system to the most distant observable galaxies in the early universe 2. The JWST’s high-resolution and high-sensitivity instruments allow it to view objects too old, distant, or faint for the Hubble Space Telescope 1. It is set to launch on December 22, 2021 1.
The JWST has several scientific objectives, including:
- Studying the birth and evolution of galaxies ³.
Investigating the formation and evolution of stars and planetary systems ³⁵.
Searching for the building blocks of life in the universe ³.
Observing exoplanets and searching for signs of life on them ³.
The JWST’s high-resolution and high-sensitivity instruments allow it to view objects too old, distant, or faint for the Hubble Space Telescope ⁵. It is designed to study every phase of cosmic history, from within our solar system to the most distant observable galaxies in the early universe ³. The JWST is set to launch on December 22, 2021 ¹⁵.
(1) Exploring the Scientific Goals and Capabilities of the James Webb Space …. https://james-webb-space-telescope.com/blogs/news/seeking-new-knowledge-the-scientific-goals-of-the-james-webb-space-telescope.
(2) Science Overview – NASA Science. https://science.nasa.gov/mission/webb/science-overview.
(3) James Webb Space Telescope – NASA Science. https://science.nasa.gov/mission/webb/.
(4) JWST versus Hubble: How are they different? – The Planetary Society. https://bing.com/search?q=jwst+scientific+goals.
(5) The James Webb Space Telescope – CRS Reports. https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/IF/IF10940.
The JWST will search for signs of life on exoplanets by analyzing the composition of their atmospheres. When an exoplanet passes in front of its star, sunlight passes through its atmosphere and could be picked up by the JWST. Spectroscopy would then be used to discover which wavelengths are missing from the light. This method, called transit spectroscopy, would provide a menu of gases and chemicals in the skies of these worlds, including those linked to life ¹². The JWST is set to launch on December 22, 2021 ¹².
(1) Can We Find Life? | The Search For Life – Exoplanet Exploration …. https://exoplanets.nasa.gov/search-for-life/can-we-find-life/.
(2) How the James Webb Space Telescope will search for extraterrestrial life. https://www.astronomy.com/science/how-the-james-webb-space-telescope-will-search-for-extraterrestrial-life/.
(3) Tantalising sign of possible life on faraway world – BBC News. https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-66786611.
(4) James Webb telescope sees potential signs of alien life in the …. https://www.livescience.com/space/exoplanets/james-webb-telescope-sees-potential-signs-of-alien-life-in-the-atmosphere-of-a-distant-goldilocks-water-world.