The Future of Space Imagery

You’ve heard of the Hubble Telescope, the famous piece of space engineering launched in 1990 to capture more detailed images of the stars and galaxies. What you may not know is that engineers are working to create a new telescope to further their knowledge of the final frontier. This new telescope, called the James Webb Space Telescope, can capture infrared images and is scheduled to launch in 2018. This video explains more of what the Webb will be able to accomplish:

The Advantages of the Webb Space Telescope:

  • Infrared Imaging – Rather than capturing the visible light that’s produced by stars and planets, Webb will capture the infrared light that these bodies produce. The further a star or planet is away, the more the visible light that it produces is stretched. This visible light becomes infrared light meaning we need an infrared image to see the plants and stars that are really, really far away.
  • Larger Mirror – Just like a larger sensor in a camera, the larger surface area of the mirrors in the Webb will increase its resolution, providing scientists with more detailed images (Via Petapixel).
  • Launched Into Space – Just like the Hubble Telescope, the James Webb will be launched into space to overcome the atmospheric distortion that plagues regular land-based telescopes.
space webb telescope mirror size

Size comparison of Hubble vs. Webb mirror

eagle nebula infrared image planets stars

Infrared image showing planets and stars visible through the Eagle Nebula

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