The basic idea of the telescope came at the beginning of the 17th century. Hans Lipperhay, or Johann Lippershey, a German Dutch spectacle maker, while working at his shop noticed two kids playing with glass. They combined the lenses and noticed that the church in front of the shop was magnified. Hans, while carefully watching them, got a hint and placed the two lenses at the ends of a long tube. To his surprise, he found a three times magnified view.
Somehow, the news of this invention reached Galileo, and he worked on Hans telescope. Galileo researched and increased the magnifying power to nine times that of the original object. With the passage of time, more and more research has been done on the telescope and its magnification power is being upgraded.
In the early days, it was only used for spying enemy ships, but Galileo was the first one to change its direction from the waters to the sky. And that was the era of a new beginning. With the help of a telescope, scientists discovered the milky way (our galaxy) and for many centuries, they believed it was the cumulative or total Universe until Edwin Hubble came along and proposed that it was not the overall Universe but we have billions of galaxies like the milky way. Due to the contributions of Edwin Hubble in 1990, the “Hubble space telescope” was named after him.
The Hubble space telescope answered a lot of questions. For example,
How is a star born?
What’s the age of the universe?
What’s dark matter?
And even the existence of black hole.
But there were a lot of questions still left, which were out of reach of Hubble. For example, how galaxies came into existence and many other things in the past that still sparked curiosity in the human mind. To answer all those questions, just six years after Hubble’s invention, scientists started work on the James Web telescope. It took 25 years, costing 1 billion dollars, to create James Web.
Previously, Hubble was designed to detect the Ultra Violet and Visible spectrums, but in the case of James Web, scientists focused specifically on the infrared spectrum in order to learn more about the origins of the Universe.
Just like any physical body, light also requires time to travel from its source to the observing object. In this vast universe, anything we see with our eyes or through a telescope is not seen in its exact moment, but rather in its past.
James Web has the ability to see distant objects that are or were 13.8 billion light years away.So it’s looking at the farther past (maybe at the time of creation). That’s how James Web is going to answer many questions by solving many puzzles related to the Universe.
The sun is 150 million kilometres away from Earth.The sun revolves around the earth, and the moon revolves around the sun.The Hubble Space Telescope is revolving around the Earth at a distance of 570 kilometers. There are points between the Earth and the Sun where the gravity of both bodies reacts equally, and these are known as Lagrange points (named after the mathematician Joseph Louis Lagrange).We write these points as L1 and L2. Lagrange point 2, or L2, is 1.5 million kilometres away from Earth. At that point, James Web will start working, so basically it will revolve around the sun while in handshake with the earth.
An idea born in a spectacle shop is discovering the beauties of the universe.