NASA confirmed that the James Webb Telescope will explore a mysterious neighboring planetary system called Beta Pictoris, studied since 1980.
The US space agency will try to learn more about one of the great mysteries of space. To understand what they want to demonstrate, you have to know how Beta Pictoris is composed.
The James Webb telescope will be sent into space in October.
At the moment it is known that it’s 20 million years old, that there the first exocometa were discovered So what is about 63 light years from our system.
It is composed of at least two giant planets (outrageously exceed the size of Jupiter), a set of rocky bodies and a disk of dust. The sum of its components is twice the size of the sun.
Beta Pictoris it is dusty and glows in infrared light. For this reason, NASA wants to make use of the advantages of its new telescope and study the structures of dust with the aim of knowing what happens on their planets.
James Webb will study Beta Pictoris dust.
Using the James Webb will help to determine if dust or water ice from the belt around Beta Pictoris can reach its inner zone. Also to determine if the system is similar to ours.
To achieve this, the researchers will evaluate how this dust scatters light, reabsorbs it and re-emits it when heated, which in turn will allow a better understanding of what this dust is made of.
Beta Pictoris is the target of several planned Webb observing programs, including one led by Chris stark from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and two led by Christine Chen from the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland.
NASA will execute plans to find extraterrestrial life on Mars. Photo: AP.
Stark’s program will take images directly of the system after blocking the star’s light to collect a host of new details about its dust.
Chen’s will collect spectra that will spread light like a rainbow to reveal what elements are present. The three observing programs will add critical details to what is known about this nearby system.
The big eye
The James Webb is a telescope created with the contribution of 17 countries. Total cost 9,800 million dollars and is operated jointly by NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency.
Its main objective is observe the most distant issues in the universe, such as the formation of the first galaxies. Also study stars and planets like those found in Beta Pictoris.
The Webb will replace the Hubble and Spitzer telescopes. It will be carried by the Arianne 5 rocket into a precision transfer orbit at the second Lagrange point (L2) between Earth and the Sun, an ideal point for space observatories at a distance of around one and a half million kilometers.
Images from the documentary Telescope, about the construction of the James Webb.
The trip would be on October 31 of this year. Once installed there, James Webb will be able to explore the neighboring planetary system.
The telescope will observe the Universe in the near infrared and in the mid infrared, at wavelengths longer than visible light.
It has a set of cameras, spectrographs and coronagraphs that will allow us to observe dimly illuminated objects near a star by blocking its light as they act when studying the solar atmosphere.
The James Webb will make history because it is the highest resolution telescope ever.
Source: Europa Press