Remember the first time you really settled into the understanding that when you look up into the night sky you’re looking into the distant past? We only ever see old stars. We only ever see what has been, never what is. Instead of lamenting that fact, NASA’s James Webb telescope leans into it. The James Webb telescope isn’t just about looking through space. NASA’s new telescope is about looking through time. Here’s more from MOTHERBOARD:
This specialized focus on the infrared spectrum is crucial for peering deeper into the cosmic past than ever before, because light gets stretched out into longer, infrared wavelengths as it journeys from the early universe to modern Earth. Because the light that JWST will capture is incredibly old, emitted by stars and galaxies that existed more than 13 billion years ago, the observatory provides a way of looking back in time as well as through space.
“The deeper you look, the further back in time you are looking,” said Matt Mountain, the president of AURA, in the interview. “James Webb is the ultimate time machine. We are hoping it will reveal this whole class of galaxies that have basically vanished from view from the Hubble Space Telescope.”
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