What Can Giant Telescopes Reveal About Our Universe?
Most of what we know about space has been observed through telescopes. Just how advanced is the new James Webb Space Telescope?
James Webb Space Telescope Mission Page (NASA)
"The James Webb Space Telescope (sometimes called JWST or Webb) will be a large infrared telescope with a 6.5-meter primary mirror. The telescope will be launched on an Ariane 5 rocket from French Guiana in October of 2018."
Discovery Channel Telescope's Epic Cosmic View (Discovery News)
"Astronomers are currently using the DCT to examine some of the most vexing mysteries of the solar system by probing deep into the Kuiper Belt, beyond the orbit of Neptune. They also aim to expand our knowledge of the universe, examining how dwarf galaxies evolve. It will observe the universe in two wavelengths: optical and near infrared."
The Infrared Spectrograph (Cal Tech)
"Like a prism breaking up light into a rainbow, the spectrograph takes the incoming infrared light from a distant object and breaks it up into a spectrum. Each chemical element in the universe has its own light signature in the spectrum, like a unique fingerprint."
What Are the Biggest Telescopes in the World (and Space)? (Universe Today)
"We've been fortunate in recent years to see bigger and bigger telescopes on the drawing board. Here are some of the monsters (present and future) of the astronomy world - and why their huge size really matters."