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NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope will peer back in time – Source

“Other spectroscopic instruments have flown in space before, but none have had the capability to enable high-resolution observation of up to 100 objects simultaneously,” says Ochs. “That means much more scientific investigating can get done in less time.”

Keeping it cool

JWST instruments will measure the near to mid-infrared spectrum, where wavelengths run .6 to 28 microns, respectively bordering the color red and microwaves. Infrared enables us to see farther into the universe (thus, farther back in time), because the universe is expanding, creating a redshift effect. Objects moving away from us emit longer electromagnetic wavelengths that appear in the red and infrared part of the spectrum.

To determine the chemical compositions of exoplanet atmospheres, onboard spectrographs will measure infrared light fluctuations—corresponding to different elements—from parent stars as their planets traverse their paths.

Since infrared cameras are more sensitive to radiation…

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