To replace Hubble by 2008 NASA assembles first mirror of James Webb telescope [ Current Affairs ]

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NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) the American Space Agency has started the journey of replacing the iconic Hubble Space Telescope by the James Webb Space telescope by 2018. By placing the first brick, NASA has successfully set up the first mirror out of 18 flight mirrors onto the Webb which is very critical for the assemble of the space observatory.

Image of James Webb telescope

Image of James Webb telescope

This will replace Hubble in 2008

A team of engineers has assembled the hexagonal shaped structures at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre in Greenbelt with the help of a robotic arm.

About James Webb telescope primary mirror

  • Each mirror was of 1.3 meters diagonally and its weigh is about 40 kilograms.
  • Combination of this all 18 piece structure forms a one large 6.5 - metre gigantic mirror.
  • The first section is expected to be completed in 2016 and it was the first assembly of the telescope.
  • The Hubble’s mirror measures only 8 - foot - diameter (2.4 meters).
  • Comparison of mirror size of Hubble telescope with James Webb telescope in reference to size of humans is as shown below.
Comparison of the Primary Mirror

Comparison of the Primary Mirror

Comparison of mirror size of Hubble telescope with James Webb telescope

  • Each 18 mirrors will adjust its shape and direction once arranged in space for investigation.
  • Engineers chose beryllium since for mirror because of its ultra - lightweight and have stable thermal and mechanical properties at very low temperatures.
  • And to reflect the infrared light every mirror has been coated with a thin layer of gold.
  • The most interesting feature of the Hubble has capability to reduce the heat coming from the Sun by a million times because of its five layer sunshield that is of the size of a tennis court.
  • The main aim of James Webb Space Telescope is to study stars, galaxies, and cosmos, study the evolution of solar system, observe the formation of stellar systems and search alien life in exoplanets in other galaxies.
  • The data found by the Webb telescope will be beneficial for science to take a great rise ahead and will help us better understand our universe.

- Published on: November 27, 2015