How Webb Works

James Webb's Space Telescope banner

Follow the path light will take through the telescope:

  • Primary Mirror: Collects light from celestial objects like rainwater on a roof.

  • Secondary Mirror: Light bounces up to the secondary mirror, concentrating the beam. Light then goes through the centre of the primary mirror to the back of the telescope, where the science instruments are located and where the light is split into different components for further study.

  • Sunshield: Deflects the heat of the Sun, Earth and even Webb's electronics from interfering with the science instruments located behind the telescope's primary mirror.

  • Spacecraft Bus: Provides the support functions for the telescope's operations, including: electrical power, attitude control (the telescope's position), communications, command and data handling, the Propulsion Subsystem, and thermal control.

Front view
Rear view