NASA said that the James Webb telescope has successfully deployed its sunshield. It brought massive success to its mission which will study every phase of cosmic history.
The sunshield is 70-foot long. This sunshield will make sure that the Webb’s instruments are kept in the shade. This is how the instruments will detect faint infrared signals from the Universe.
All the layers of Webb’s sunshield have opened in two days. These will offer SPF of about one million.
The telescope was large enough to not to fit into a rocket’s nose cone. So, the scientists had to send it folded in space. This unfolding of the sunshield was the most daunting task that NASA has ever attempted.
The Webb telescope is the successor of Hubble telescope. Webb was sent off in an Ariane 5 rocket on December 25 from French Guiana. It is halfway to its orbital point.
The inferred technology in the telescope will allow it to see the first stars and galaxies that formed 13.5 billion years ago. This will give astronomers new insights about the earliest epoch of the Universe.
Webb will be able to see the ultraviolet light emitted by the very first luminous objects.
This mission will study about the distant planets and their origin and habitability.
Built to withstand meteoroids
The sunshield will be betweenthe telescope and the Sun, Earth and Moon. The Sun-facing side of the shield will withstand 230 degrees Fahrenheit temperature.
The instruments of the telescope can also operate in -380F.
The shield is made of Kapton and coated with treated silicon. A special “ripstop” is also there to limit its damage from meteoroids.
In a few weeks, Webb will reach its space destination called the second Lagrange point.
In the next step the telescope will deploy its secondary and primary mirror wings.