The astronomers of our planet can now breathe easy after the James Webb Space Telescope has I have deploy successfully this weekend his main mirror, successfully concluding one of the most complex and dangerous parts of the mission.
The James Webb is about dthe largest space telescope in history (it is the size of a tennis court), that’s why it had to travel folded aboard the Ariane 5 rocket that took off on December 25 from French Guiana. During these two weeks he has been deploying part of their main systems –as its delicate parasol– but it still had to be put in place the huge mirror that will capture infrared light from space deep.
That main mirror is divided into two large hexagonal panels (one on each side). The first of the panels was successfully deployed last Friday, while the right-side panel was put in place on Saturday.
There are still two weeks until James Webb reaches the Lagrange point L2 of the Earth-Sun system, which is located 1.5 million kilometers from our planet. Once you reach point L2, the The telescope’s motors will place it in a halo orbit and from there where you can make your observations more clearly while staying protected from dangerous solar radiation.
But ehe mission engineers’ work is not over yet. For the next few weeks and months they will have to align the telescope’s optics and calibrate all of their instruments so that everything works perfectly. Once this is done, the James Webb will be ready to travel back in time and unravel some of the most important mysteries of our universe, such as the formation of the first stars and planets. Without a doubt, we are before from one of the astronomical moments most exciting of the last decades.