The Most Powerful Space Telescope Ever 🔭
Bethany Van Delft 0:03
Ever wonder what the universe looks like as a baby? Oh, little baby supernova, we are blasting into space to check out the James Webb Space Telescope. I'm Bethany Van Delft. It's Tuesday, January 11th. And this is the Ten News.
Various Voices 0:22
10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.
Bethany Van Delft 0:30
One of the best parts about going on a trip is coming home. But for the James Webb Space Telescope, there's no turning back. On Christmas, NASA launched the most powerful space telescope ever. Working with the European and Canadian Space Agency's NASA hopes to learn about the very beginnings of our universe. You see, light takes a long time to travel. It takes eight minutes for light from the Sun to reach the Earth. Wow. The further away the light is, the longer it takes to reach us. So if we can look really, really really far, we can see the oldest stars in our universe back when they were babies. That's what the James Webb Space Telescope is built to do. Its giant gold reflectors will help us see farther than ever before. So far, everything has gone smoothly, and soon, astronomers will have the universe's baby pictures. Scientists, engineers, and space lovers everywhere are excited about this new telescope, and here to share five fascinating facts about this new space tech is Ten'er, Owen.
Thanks, Bethany. I'm reporting in from space with five facts about the James Webb Telescope and is really hard to breathe. Number one, the telescope took 30 years to build in cost $10 billion Wow, that's a lot of moolah. Number two, James Webb is replacing the Hubble telescope that launched in 1990. It is 100. Let me say that again. 100 times more powerful than the Hubble. No way. Number three, to get into the position the huge telescope had to fold up like an origami to fit inside a rocket ship and was blasted into space, it would be pretty weird if humans could do that, just fold up whenever you want. Number four, the telescope is now in the process of unfolding, yay. And setting itself off for taking pictures of the view numbers. Each step is a really big deal and there are 344 of them until it is ready. That's more than I can count on my fingers, one, two. Number five, the James Webb has really good eyesight. The telescope is capable of seeing infrared images much more than the Hubble Telescope. This means that we'll be able to see stars and planets hiding behind space dust that we couldn't see before. Hello, there. That's like if someone with bad eyesight puts on glasses, and I hope they're stylish.
Bethany Van Delft 3:29
Thanks for the report, Owen. There's still a lot of work to do. And the telescope won't be in its full position till the end of January and won't start taking pictures until March. If all goes according to plan, we'll be seeing pictures of what our old universe looked like when it was just a kid off. It's been a big month for space exploration. NASA not only launched the James Webb Space Telescope but also touched the sun. Whaaat? The Parker Solar Probe, a satellite built to withstand extreme heat crossed into the sun's corona. That's the very furthest outer edge of the Sun, which we can only see during a total solar eclipse. That's incredible. The probe actually touched the corona back in April, but scientists just got the data in December. Eventually, the Parker probe will get even closer to the sun and its heat shield will warm up to 2600 degrees Fahrenheit. I'm breaking a sweat just thinking about it. And it'll reach speeds of 430,000 miles per hour. That's enough to get from Washington DC to Philadelphia in one second. Unbelievable. What's that, you say? Why get that close to the sun? Well, everything and everyone on Earth depends on the Sun for warmth and energy. This mission will help us understand how the sun's heat, radiation, and energy works. For example, changes in The Sun's magnetism can affect satellites and communication on Earth. So, the more we know about how the sun works, the better our technology will be. I hope that probe was burned shades. Oh, yeah, so we know satellites, probes, and space telescopes are built to withstand the extreme cold of space and the extreme heat of the sun. But do you know where the hottest and coldest temperatures in the universe have been recorded? Help? Right here on Earth. Scientists chilled the lab to the lowest recorded temperature minus 270 degrees Celsius, or zero Kelvin, which is colder than space. And the atom-splitting Large Hadron Collider created the hottest temperature ever recorded. 5.5 trillion degrees Kelvin. That's 250,000 times hotter than the center of the Sun. Does anyone have a cup of ice? Thanks. Now let's see what else is going on. More than 1000 houses and other structures in the towns of Louisville and Superior in Colorado, were destroyed in a wildfire during the last week of December. Many people who lost their homes are determined to rebuild. If you or your grownups are looking for a way to help the website gofundme.org is hosting a fundraiser for those who are affected. Let's do this. The Omicron variant is making it hard for schools to stay open. Many more schools around the country have gone remote because of surging COVID cases and school staff testing positive even the Grammy awards have been postponed because of COVID concerns.
Bethany Van Delft 6:56
It recently rains in the town of Texarkana and eastern Texas. However, it wasn't water that fell from the clouds but fish. You heard me, a fish drop from the sky. It's not very common, but this kind of animal rain can happen when the waterspout picks up critters in one place and drops them in another. Lucky you, it's...
Various Voices 7:30
What, what, what's the big idea?
Bethany Van Delft 7:33
Trivia on the Ten. The James Webb Space Telescope will look back through time to show us the earliest stars and galaxies. But, just how old is the universe? Is it a) 2.3 billion years old, b) 5 billion years old or c) 13.8 billion years old? Did you guess it? The answer is C. The universe is 13.8 billion years old. Scientists think that's the age of the universe give or take a billion years. To find out the universe's age astronomers measure the oldest stars and check out how fast and far the universe is expanding. Of course, new observations from the James Webb Space Telescope may mean we'll have to change that number. And who knows, it might even have to change the way we think. Time's up. But before we go, here's a quick note for the grownups. Thanks for listening to the Ten News. Look out for our new episodes on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and extras on Saturdays. The Ten is a coproduction of Small But Mighty Media and Next Chapter Podcasts and is distributed by iHeartRadio. The Ten News creative team is coming up with baby names for the universe and includes Tracey Crooks, Pete Musto, Adam Barnard, Tessa Flannery, and Nathalie Alonso. Our production director is Jeremiah Tittle. And our executive producers are Donald Albright and show creator Tracy Leeds Kaplan. I'm Bethany Van Delft, and thanks for listening to the Ten News. Oh my gosh, I am so looking forward to what this new telescope is going to show us!