NASA finally launched the James Webb Space Telescope on Christmas after a series of delays that seemed everlasting. There are high hopes for the mission, as the American space agency claims that Webb is the best space telescope that was ever built.
We spoke in a previous article about NASA’s launch, and we can sure have high expectations from the mission. With James Webb, NASA aims to look deeper into remote galaxies than ever, unpuzzle the secrets of our own Milky Way galaxy, and so on.
Fuel for over a decade
The analysis shows that less propellant than originally planned for is needed to correct Webb’s trajectory toward its final orbit around the second Lagrange point known as L2, a point of gravitational balance on the far side of Earth away from the Sun. Consequently, Webb will have much more than the baseline estimate of propellant – though many factors could ultimately affect Webb’s duration of operation.
Luckily or not, there are more stars in the observable Universe than there are grains of sand on all beaches of the Earth. This can only mean that the team of astronomers behind the JWST can’t possibly complain about not having enough work to do. As for galaxies, there are literally trillions of them discovered, and who knows how many there might be in the entire Universe!
What astronomers call as “observable Universe” is only the portion of the Universe from where the light had enough time to reach Earth during the 13.7 billion years that passed since the Big Bang. The whole Universe could be millions of times bigger, meaning countless more chances to explore galaxies!