Telescopes of the Next Generation
Telescopes, over the time, have evolved and they are still evolving into
more powerful, bigger and reliable telescopes.
This evolution of telescopes will continue as the dream of knowing more and more unknown information about this universe will continue.
We all know about the most famous telescope available today; The Hubble Space Telescope but only few of us know that it is planned to be replaced by a next generation telescope called as James Webb Space Telescope or the JWST, sometime in 2013.
This next generation space telescope is being developed in way that will make it much bigger and better as compared to Hubble Space Telescope. It might also beat the Hubble Space Telescope in many other capabilities.
The JWST or the James Webb Space Telescope,
which is under development, is a very large telescope. It will be using
an infrared-optimized technology. JWST will hopefully give vital information
about the galaxies that were formed in the very early Universe.
It will also collect vital information about the events at the time of Big Bang and it will also relate it with our own galaxy; the Milky Way. It is expected to collect other vital information about the formation of different planetary systems.
As mentioned above, this next generation space telescope will make use of the infrared-optimized technology and it will use instruments that will primarily function in the infrared range of the spectrum.
We all know that the length of the primary mirror, located in the heart Hubble Space, is 2.4 meters. The JWST will consists of a primary mirror having a diameter of 6.5 meter, more than double of the size of the mirror that is in use by the Hubble Space Telescope.
The JWST will have a sunshield that will be of the size of a tennis court; quite remarkable. It is quite apparent that such big mirror and sunshade won’t be able to fit onto the rocket that will launch it into the space.
For this reason, both of these; the mirror and the sunshade will be designed in a way that they will fold up and will eventually open in the space.
The Hubble space telescope is orbited in the lower orbit of the earth. However, the JWST will live in an orbit that will be 100,000 miles away from the earth.
It is obvious that if the next generation telescopes are expected to be much more powerful than the one that are in use today, then the technology, on which the next generation telescopes will rely, should be advanced as well.
Advancements have been made and will continue in future as well. This is because of these advancements that we will see next generation JWST, hopefully in 2013.
Hopefully, the JWST after its launch that is expected in 2013, will serve the astronomers for at lest a decade. It will provide important information about the events that could have occurred after the Big Bang like the formation of our galaxy, formation of our solar systems, planets, our own earth etc.
There have been many technologies specifically developed for this next generation space telescope. One of them is the folded mirror technology that will be used to fold the primary mirror of the JWST when it will be launched. Other technologies are related with the detectors that will track and maintain the records for all weak information or signals the telescope will get.
Similar to the Hubble Space
Telescope, the JWST will consist of cameras and spectrographs that
will work with the infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum. Wavelengths
ranging from 0.6 to 27 micrometers will be visible to the JWST. In short,
the JWST has now become one of the most awaited telescopes, for the astronomers,
ready to be sent to the space in 2013.