In December 2021, the James Webb Telescope blasted off into space on its way to search for distant galaxies, faint comets and stars. One of its main components has been partially developed in Switzerland.
This content was published on 01 Aug 2022 – 09:00 Jul, 01 Aug 2022 – 09:00
Animation and Documentary Filmmaker from Bern. Studied filmmaking at the University of the Arts in Zurich and has been working at swissinfo.ch as a video journalist since 2004. He has a particular interest in creating new video formats for mobile viewing, blending animation and documentary styles.
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- Deutsch (de) James Webb und der Blick zum Ursprung des Universums (original)
- Español (es) James Webb nos muestra los confines del universo
- Français (fr) James Webb scrute les confins de l’univers
- English (en) A glimpse into the origins of the universe
- 日本語 (ja) 新型望遠鏡ジェームズ・ウェッブ 宇宙で輝くスイスの技術
- Italiano (it) James Webb, uno sguardo ai confini dell’universo
The James Webb Space Telescope, the largest and most powerful telescope ever sent into space, is the successor to the Hubble Telescope launched by NASA in 1990. However, while Hubble takes images in the visible spectrum of the human eye, James Webb can see More ingredients in the universe – thanks in large part to the Medium Infrared Instrument (MIRI), one of four science instruments on board the space telescope. Developed with the help of Swiss researchers, these rays can detect the wavelength range from 5 to 28 microns – the mid-infrared range under investigation so far, and it is hoped that the James Webb Space Telescope will be able to observe galaxies in the last orbits of the universe.
The Swiss component was developed by the Paul Scherrer Institute in cooperation with a number of industrial companies. Subsequently, the Institute for Particle Physics and Astrophysics of the Federal Institute of Technology Zurich took over the project under European cooperation and jointly with NASA. Indeed, the team of astrophysicist Adrian Glauser at the Federal Institute of Technology Zurich has developed special cooling cables and a mechanism to protect the mid-infrared rays from contamination during the cooling phase and to ensure their ability to function optimally, as the mid-infrared rays must be cooled to -266 degrees Celsius, That is, close to absolute zero.
Thus, the Swiss team will finish its work on the James Webb Telescope project, but the next task awaits Glauser, where he will work with his scientific director Sacha Kwanz on the Infrared Imaging Device (METIS) project at the Large Telescope (ELT), which is scheduled to begin work In Chile’s Atacama Desert in 2027. Indeed, Glauser is working on the next generation of space telescopes, which will one day be able to search for Earth-like exoplanets.
(Translated from English and translated by: Mai Al-Mahdi)
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