The revolutionary James Webb Space Telescope, designed by NASA in the hopes of better understanding our universe, arrived at its destination after traveling 1 million miles through space. Now, it will begin to orbit the Sun.
The telescope, built as a successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, launched on Dec. 25 from French Guiana, as we previously reported.
Since its launch, the telescope has also unfurled its sunshield, which is the size of a tennis court, and also unfolded its massive gold mirror which will help scientists study space in new ways, CNN reported.
The Webb telescope is seven times more sensitive than the Hubble Space Telescope, and three times its size, The New York Times reported. Webb is designed to see further into the past than Hubble, allowing scientists to study the first stars and galaxies when the universe began.
The telescope’s launch and travel to its destination went so well, that the telescope has used less fuel than scientists had prepared for, which means the life of the telescope will be extended beyond the official 10-year target and will now likely last closer to 20 years, The Washington Post reported.
Now that Webb is in orbit, the next five months will be spent calibrating the telescope’s instruments, CNN reported. NASA expects the first images from the telescope this summer.
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