During the summer of 2018, the James Webb Orbit Telescope, the most powerful observatory ever launched into space, will begin its science mission to investigate astronomical phenomena. Preparations are underway for deploying the numerous instruments aboard the $10 billion (approximately Rs. 76,165 crores) telescope in the lead-up to that milestone. The Near-Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec) is one of the instruments in this group. It is set to begin transmitting data to scientists who eagerly await the opportunity to study the cosmos in a new light. In addition to being one of the most potent types of equipment onboard the Webb, it will allow scientists to examine at least 100 galaxies simultaneously.
In fact, it outperforms a similar sensor on the Hubble Space Telescope by a factor of more than a hundred
The James Webb Space Telescope is equipped with a massive 21.6-foot-wide mirror that will aid in the study of the universe’s oldest and most distant galaxies. The telescope will be looking for infrared light, a component of the electromagnetic spectrum that has longer wavelengths than visible light and is responsible for conveying heat. Even though the first stars radiated visible light, the tremendous expansion of the universe caused this light to move into the infrared region of the spectrum, where it remains today. The redshift is the term used to describe this process.
In contrast to a camera, the spectrograph does not capture images but divides incoming sunlight into separate components of the visible light spectrum.
Astrophysicist Andy Bunker of Oxford University and one of the seven European scientists who helped shape the design of NIRSpec says that once the instrument is in orbit, astronomers will be able to observe and measure at least a hundred galaxies at once. “It will be possible to observe and measure at least a hundred galaxies simultaneously,” Bunker says.
NIRSpec will examine a large number of stars, galaxies, clusters, planets, and other bodies, which will aid scientists in understanding and answering various issues regarding the birth of the universe. NIRSpec is expected to be operational by the end of this year.
Last Christmas, NASA launched the James Webb Space Telescope, which is the culmination of a worldwide collaboration. It arrived at its intended destination, the so-called Lagrange Point 2, around 1 million kilometers from Earth. It will be sent into space this summer as part of the deployment and cooling operations, with science missions planned to begin in the fall.