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23 April 2015 | 10:20
NASA project: World’s most powerful telescope set to launch in 2018
NASA is building the biggest telescope the world has ever seen, and it will give scientists the opportunity to 'see' cosmic events that occurred 13.5 billion years ago - just 220 million years following the Big Bang, runs Science Alert.
Named the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), it will be 100 times more powerful than the Hubble Space Telescope, and is tipped to be fully operational within the next three years. The JWST includes a mirror 6.5 metres in diameter, which is three times the size of Hubble’s mirror, and it will have 70 times its light-gathering capacity. 

"What the Webb will really be doing is looking at the first galaxies of the Universe," project scientist Mark Clampin at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Centre in the US. "We will also be able, with these capabilities, to look in very dark parts of the universe where stars are being born."  

"We have sensors on board, equipment on board that will enable us to study the atmosphere of exoplanets spectroscopically, so we will be able to understand the composition of those atmospheres,” Matt Greenhouse, a JWST project scientist working on this project.

Unlike Hubble, which has spent the last 25 years orbiting Earth, the James Webb Space Telescope will go all the way out to one of the Lagrangian points - a set of five equilibrium points in every Earth-Moon System - 1.5 million kilometres (930,000 miles) away. This will keep it far enough away from the Sun so it’s not too hot, and will shelter it from radiation and "prevent it from being blinded by its own infra-red light," Jean- Louis Santini reports for the AFP.   
Redactor: Departamentul Multimedia
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