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Webb's science objectives


Uploaded on December 24, 2021


Webb's science objectives

2021-12-24 – The James Webb Space Telescope is the most powerful space observatory ever built. Gathering infrared light invisible to the human eye, its penetrating gaze will behold the earliest moments in cosmic time and search distant worlds for evidence of life.

Canada has contributed a scientific instrument and a guidance sensor. Canadian scientists will take part in its exciting science mission that promises to change our understanding of the universe.

Webb will pierce through layers of cosmic dust to unveil the unique mysteries of the universe and fuel groundbreaking astronomical research for decades to come.

Webb is an international collaboration between NASA, ESA, and the Canadian Space Agency. (Credits: Canadian Space Agency, NASA)

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Sarah Gallagher: We asked you what you wanted to know about the science of Webb.

David Saint-Jacques: And we're here to answer your questions.

Hi, I'm David Saint-Jacques.

Sarah Gallagher: And I'm Sarah Gallagher.

David Saint-Jacques / Sarah Gallagher: And you are an astrophysicist!

David Saint-Jacques: What is the main goal of the Webb Telescope?

Sarah Gallagher: Webb has four scientific goals.

One, to study planets both within and beyond our solar system. For example, we know of over 4000 exoplanets, and there are many more to discover.

The second is to gain new insight into how stars form, evolve over their lifetime, run out of fuel, and die.

The third is to look back in time to observe light in the early universe from only a few hundred million years after the Big Bang.

The universe was really young, that long ago.

And the fourth is to observe galaxies over time, and understand how they evolve over billions of years.

David Saint-Jacques: More questions will arise as Webb opens a new chapter in our understanding of the universe.

Sarah Gallagher: Join astronomers from across Canada and around the world on a thrilling journey of discovery.


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