7 Facts About the James Webb Space Telescope


JWST launched on Dec. 25, 2021 from French Guiana. It began its journey in an ESA Ariane  5 rocket.


L2 Lagrange is 940,000 kilometers away. This Lagrange point lets JWST orbit the Sun with Earth, distant from the former and on the nightside of the latter.


JWST is optimized to catch infrared light, allowing it to observe distant—and, according to the Big Bang Theory, early—galaxies.


Because heat is a source  of infrared, keeping the telescope cold reduces interference. The Sun, Earth, and Moon's healthy distance prohibits heat/infrared detection.


The JWST weighs 14,300 pounds on Earth. The weight includes the sunshield, primary mirror, and solar panels.


The primary mirror of JWST has a diameter of about 21 feet and a light-collecting area of 273 square feet.


Depending on how much fuel was needed to set JWST on a course toward L2, keep it in orbit, and orient it to specific targets, its expected lifetime was originally five to 10 years.

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