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The James Webb Space Telescope has begun its long waltz around the Sun


DECRYPTION – After thirty days of travel, the most expensive observatory in history has returned to its working orbit, 1.5 million kilometers from Earth. Scientists will now have to tackle it.

It's a small dance step that marks the beginning of a long and great cosmic waltz.

After thirty days of travel, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) placed itself on Monday evening in its "halo" orbit around the second Lagrange point (L2), a point of gravitational equilibrium between the Earth and the Sun located 1.5 million kilometers beyond our planet

(see infographic)


It may seem very far, but it is only four times the Earth-Moon distance and about 4 light-seconds

, underlines Pierre-Olivier Lagage, astrophysicist at the CEA and co-responsible for the Miri instrument, partly designed by France.

This means that it only takes 4 seconds to communicate with the telescope.

I do not have the feeling that we are disconnected from it, quite the contrary.

Complex trajectory

The monumental observatory - by its size, but also by its complexity and its cost (11 billion dollars) - will now accompany our planet in its race around the Sun while rotating at a good distance around...

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Source: lefigaro

All tech articles on 2022-01-25

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