The Webb telescope will open up new horizons for infrared astronomy with its innovative design and cutting-edge technology. The largest telescope ever sent into space, Webb is uniquely suited to deepen and broaden the paths blazed by Hubble's exploration of the universe.
Webb's ambitious design tackles the two main challenges for an infrared telescope: it has to have a large mirror, in order to best capture long infrared wavelengths; and it has to be kept cold, in order to keep unwanted sources of infrared from interfering with the emissions it attempts to detect.
Webb will be stationed at the Second Sun-Earth Lagrange Point, an orbit far beyond Earth's Moon. Webb's giant sunshield will protect it from stray heat and light, while its large mirror enables it to effectively capture infrared light, bringing us the clearest picture ever of objects that emit this invisible radiation — early galaxies, just-forming stars, clouds of gas and dust, and much more.