The James Webb Space Telescope blazes towards science operations

Described as the successor to Hubble, the $10bn James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is set to revolutionise astronomy. Among its science goals JWST will explore the atmospheres of exoplanets and peer deep into the history of the universe – we might glimpse some of the earliest galaxies after the Big Bang.

This short video introduces the JWST mission and the next steps before science operations can begin in mid 2022. Since launch on 25 December, NASA engineers successfully deployed a tennis court-sized solar shield, before the scope’s 6.5 metre primary mirror was unfolded without issues at the weekend.

Find out more about the JWST mission in this feature article by Keith Cooper, originally published in the January issue of Physics World.

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