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James Webb Space Telescope- A look back and a look ahead


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It is hard to believe that it has only been a year; we humans have been treated to a slew of stunning cosmic images, the scientists have been given data for several lifetime's worth of study, and I suspect that countless young people have been inspired to continue the work for generations and generations to come.

And it has only been a year!

Universe Today (universetoday.com, link below), a superb site that focuses on the scientific aspects of space and space discoveries, has put together a Podcast reviewing all the discoveries, images, scientific firsts and more; I am generally not a fan of podcasts, but I make an exception for this one. It runs about 45 minutes and is a nice thing to watch in this Thai holiday when things are slow.


Looking ahead, Universe Today (link below) previews what we can expect in the year to come, focusing on six distinct areas. 

The study of Exoplanets will be ramped up; recent studies have theorized that there may well be trillions of Exoplanets out there, and who knows what we can learn from them? This is one of the most fascinating areas of research, in my opinion. If we can get a sense of the chemical composition of other planets, we will learn incredible things. I often wonder if there are species out there with similar technologies and capacities who are looking at us, wondering why we are killing our planet with carbon.

Galaxies will be examined further, especially the early formational period. I don't think that we will be able to see 'back' to the Big Bang itself, but we will get close. There is a lot of truth in the idea that in order to know where you are, you need to know where you came from.

The Intergalactic and At Large areas will be studied; we tend to think of those places as 'empty', but sparsely populated might be a better way to think.

Our own solar system will be examined further; it is a scientific principle that you should begin in your own surroundings to see what is there. The more we understand the planets closest to us, the more likely it is that we understand Earth and perhaps learn to manage it better.

Stars and stellar matter will be studied further. We still have limited knowledge of our own Sun, but by studying stars and stellar issues in general, we certainly will increase our understand of our own system and our neighbours.

Finally, we will be having a look at Super Massive Black Holes (SMBH) and Active Galactic Nuclei (Quasars). I have said many times that if ever the subject of Super Massive Black Holes comes up, you should stop what you are doing and learn something.


If you have read this far, you probably don't need many reference sites, but I add two pages from Space.com adding to an understanding of the JWST and what it can and has already done.



Finally, it must be said that as truly incredible a machine like the JWST is and its capacities for scientific research to astound, it is the ability to inspire awe which gets me. Who could look at the images form the JWST and not want to know more? As truly spectacular as it has been so far, I know that it'll do even more in the future.

We live in glorious times.



Image from Google via Phys.org



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