The Hubble Telescope has been a breathtaking resource for astronomers but it’s about to be replaced by a bigger, better, higher telescope called the Jame Webb Space Telescope. (Photo: NASA, Amber Staughn, NASA, TED Talk)
The Webb Telescope will have a mirror that is 6.5 meters. That’s 7 times larger than Hubble. It’s orbit will be 1 million miles out, about 4 times farther out than the moon. It won’t orbit the earth at that altitude, but will rather be in co-orbit with the Earth around the sun.
Lifesize model of Webb Telescope on display in Seattle in 2007
The Webb will see mostly in the infrared spectrum, but will be able to see some red. It will see heat, but it will also be able to see planets. But one of the main advantages of Webb will be its ability to see chemical compositions in atmospheres, such as water vapor, oxygen and other compounds.