The James Webb Space Telescope was folded to fit into its launch vehicle and was slowly unfolded over two weeks after launch, according to NASA. (NASA GSFC/CIL/Adriana Manrique Gutierrez)

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James Webb Space Telescope set to change how we look at space

The JWST arrived at its final destination 1 million miles from Earth at the second Lagrange point on Monday.
<a href="https://highschool.latimes.com/author/aidendeming/" target="_self">Aiden Deming</a>

Aiden Deming

January 24, 2022
After numerous delays and a threat of potential cancelation, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope was successfully launched from the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana on Dec. 25, 2021 aboard the Ariane 5 rocket. The JWST arrived at its final destination 1 million miles from Earth at the second Lagrange point on Monday.

With a mirror seven times larger than that of the Hubble Space Telescope, and with instruments sensitive enough to detect artificial city lights on distant exoplanets, the JWST is set to bring in a new dawn of discovery.

The JWST was fully deployed en route to the second Lagrange point, or L2, where it will orbit undisturbed from the interfering effects of the Earth, Moon, and Sun. Finally, six months after launch, the JWST will be fully operational after months of cooling, aligning and calibrating the telescopes’ instruments.

By June, the JWST will be ready to send its first images back to eager scientists on the ground. The exact images we will be receiving are unknown as of the writing of this article.

Thanks to the practically perfect launch, the JWST was able to conserve way more fuel than was originally anticipated, the lifespan of the JWST has been doubled thanks to the efforts of the Webb team. With a lifespan of five to 10 years, the JWST will gaze into infinity, studying the light from the first stars and galaxies that formed after the Big Bang, the formation and evolution of galaxies, star formation, planetary systems, planet formation and the origins of life.

With this time, the JWST is set to rewrite the textbooks of the future. The discoveries made will change the very way humanity views itself, our true cosmic origins and place in this universe. Overall, the JWST is set to inspire entire future generations of scientists, astronauts, engineers, astrophysicists and astronomers into studying the endless mysteries of space.

Watch the launch here.

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