Largest Space Telescope Ever Built Travels Nearly 1 Million Miles Away from Earth

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After years of development and testing, the long-awaited replacement for the Hubble Space Telescope is here. The James Webb Space Telescope has deployed to space and successfully unfolded, an effort calls “one of its most complicated deployments in space ever.” The Webb is en route to its “insertion location” — nearly a million miles from Earth — and is expected to arrive later this month. Key milestones over the coming weeks will include NASA’s ability to get the observatory online, get instruments operational, and align 18 mirrors in such a way that they will operate as one giant mirror. The alignment of all the components, including the mirror, is expected to take several months. According to, the location of the scope is far enough from the sun and, with its modern sunshield, it can “work in the darkness required for heat-seeking infrared observations.” Additionally, they say, “Infrared wavelengths will allow the telescope to peer through dust to look at objects such as young exoplanets, or the interior of distant galaxies, all on its quest to understand the universe and its evolution.”

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