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James Webb Space Telescope: A New Window to the Cosmos – clip

David Helfand / Columbia University


In April of 1990 the Hubble Space Telescope was launched, providing new views of the Universe that have riveted us for a third of a century. But Hubble’s eyes, while vastly larger and unobscured by the atmosphere, are pretty much like our own — limited to just over a single octave of cosmic radiation. Last Christmas morning, we began opening a new window on the Universe with the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope. By far the most complex device ever placed in space, Webb will allow us to see how the first stars and galaxies emerged from the Dark Ages of the early Universe, and to assay the atmospheres of planets beyond our solar system in a search for extraterrestrial life.

David Helfand

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