Have you ever wondered what it would be like to see how the universe first looked after the Big Bang? Well, NASA seems to have the solution for you. The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), formerly known as the “Next Generation Telescope”, is a new and innovative galactic-metal-baby formed by NASA in collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA) and Canadian Space Agency (CSA); and it is set to be launched in October of 2018.
The JWST will be able to study every phase of history that our universe has gone through, from the first sources of light produced after the Big Bang to the formation of solar systems and even the crashing of galaxies. With it’s 18-segmented mirror the JWST will be able to see even further than the Hubble Space Telescope
Some may say that the JWST is a replacement for the Hubble Space Telescope, however NASA refers to the JWST as Hubble’s successor. The JWST has a great deal of differences from the Hubble: it will be using infrared wavelengths to observe the universe whereas the Hubble observes using optical and ultraviolet wavelengths; the JWST will also be much larger than the Hubble with a sunscreen that is roughly the size of a tennis court; and the JWST will orbit 1.5 million kilometers from Earth while the Hubble remains orbiting a mere 570 kilometers around Earth.
The James Webb Space Telescope is a change in trajectory for space exploration and we will be able to explore and discover so much more than we could ever possibly think of. According to the New York Times, when lead scientist John C. Mather, was asked what the telescope’s biggest discovery would be, he said “If I knew, I would tell you.”