The James Webb has already fully deployed its mirror as it approaches the L2 point

Image for article titled The James Webb has already fully unfolded its mirror and has almost reached its destination

The James Space Telescope Webb has completed the complex deployment of its mirrors this week, and that’s it close to completion your journey to the point Lagrange L2, where it will begin to orbit the Sun at about 1,500,000 km from Earth.

The James Webb is approaching ya al second Lagrange point, a position in space that will allow the telescope to only have to use a minimum fuel for stay in place. From there, the telescope will observe the exoplanets and the early universe in the wavelengths of infrared ydthe infrared near. It is expected that this telescope switch our understanding of how the birth and evolution of the universe, since it is much More powerful than its predecessor, the Hubble Space Telescope, that was released in 1990.

The telescope James Webb launched into space on December 25 from French Guiana and has since traveled nearly 140,000 kilometers. During this trip, the telescope has had to go unfolding little by little, as to be able to send it to space mission engineers they had to fold it like an origami piece. Very carefully, el Webb got unfold your parasol Y your mirrors, completing the last of the steps this week.

The telescope has 18 segments that make up the primary mirror (the primary mirror is the large structure that looks like from honeycomb that is perpendicular to the parasol) and with a secondary mirror. The Mirror segments are adjustable and have had to change from position after launch. manager of NASA, Bill Nelson, confirmed this wednesday that the mirror had already fully unfolded.

It will be necessary to make small adjustments in the positions of the mirrors during thiss the next few months so that everything is completely aligned and we can start the scientific observations, as can be read in the telescope page. But now that it’s over deployment, there is only one important step left: correctly place the telescope on point L2.

The telescope should reach the point L2 next January 23 and after you will have five months to finish doing the calibrations relevant to start the scientific observations. East trip of a million and a half kilometers it is only the preamble to a brilliant scientific career that could last more than 20 years.

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