NASA Just Launched Its Most Powerful Telescope Ever & It's Looking For Signs Of Life

It's a daring quest!

Western Canada Editor
NASA Just Launched Its Most Powerful Telescope Ever & It's Looking For Signs Of Life

NASA launched its largest and most powerful telescope on Christmas Day morning.

The James Webb Space Telescope set off from French Guiana on South America's northeastern coast and is attached to the European rocket Ariane.

Its quest is to find light from the first stars and galaxies while scouring the universe for signs of life, according to NASA.

The telescope cost $10 billion to create and hurtles toward its destination, which is an incredible 1 million miles away (or four times beyond the distance of the moon.)

It will take around one month to reach its destination and then another five months before it is ready to start scanning its surroundings using its infrared eyes.

"The James Webb Space Telescope represents the ambition that NASA and our partners maintain to propel us forward into the future," said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. "The promise of Webb is not what we know we will discover; it’s what we don’t yet understand or can’t yet fathom about our universe. I can’t wait to see what it uncovers!"

A NASA tweet said the Webb telescope will soon begin "an approximately two-week process to deploy its antennas, mirrors, and sunshield."

The Christmas Day launch was held with a small number of spectators due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Spectators included local dignitaries and workers who helped build the telescope.

We might be living through a real-life Leonardo DiCaprio movie moment next week because a giant asteroid is going to pass very close to the Earth.

NASA says an asteroid named 7482 (1994 PC1) is going to come as close as 1.9 million kilometres (1.2 million miles) to Earth on January 18, so you might want to pull your telescope out.

Keep Reading Show less

Space helped out with the celebrations on New Year's Day in Pittsburgh, where an exploding meteor caused a boom loud enough to be heard across Pennsylvania.

NASA reported that a meteor blew up over Pittsburgh on January 1 at approximately 11:30 a.m., and as the meteor fell apart its explosion was equivalent to 30 tons of TNT.

Keep Reading Show less

Calling all stargazers: there is going to be an absolutely incredible meteor shower this week, and you won't want to miss out.

According to NASA, the Geminid meteor shower usually peaks by mid-December and is the "best and most reliable" of the year.

Keep Reading Show less

Get ready because an extremely rare lunar eclipse is happening this week that will turn the moon red for people all across Canada!

The full moon will pass through Earth's shadow on the night of November 18 and into the early morning hours of November 19, creating a partial lunar eclipse that misses out on being a total eclipse by just a sliver.

Keep Reading Show less