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Is NASA’s James Webb the King of Space Telescopes?

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope is a hot topic in the world of telescopes. Well, there hasn’t been too much new in the form of high-powered space telescopes over the last few years, although James Webb is set to change things.

Weighing in at a whopping 6,200 kilograms with a mission to broaden our understanding of the universe, the James Webb Space Telescope has quite a lot riding on its name. Literally — the telescope bears the name of NASA’s 2nd administrator, James Edwin Webb, who passed away nearly 30 years ago.

With an estimated launch date in 2007 and a half-a-billion-dollar budget, the James Webb Space Telescope, or as we’re going to refer to it from now on, the JWST or Webb, was an enormous project at the time. After all, the Hubble Space Telescope, the current leader in high-tech space telescopes, had just launched six years prior. Interestingly, Hubble had a similarly sized 400-million-dollar budget before blooming to an otherworldly 4.7 billion dollars.

While Hubble can view some of these things, the extra distance provided by Webb’s IR images will view even further, letting us gleam information on the birth of stars, planets, and even potentially galaxies. In addition, of course, we’ll learn countless other things, whether relating to black holes, random phenomena, even aliens, and something we aren’t even thinking of.

With Webb’s onboard science instrument module, solar power array, Earth-transmitting antenna, star trackers, and more, there’s a lot of data and information we can take from what the telescope can see. It’s much more than any other telescope we have today — sort of.

It doesn’t make a difference whether you’re comparing Webb to current telescopes, current Earth operations, or specs and designs. The JWST is so different from anything we currently have that it will shame any existing space telescope. Well, unless you like pretty visual pictures, as that’s something that Hubble does better than Webb.

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