It’s almost time for the James Webb Space Telescope to launch, and you aren’t going to want to miss it.
The successor to NASA and Europe’s Hubble Space Telescope, the James Webb Space Telescope will launch on December 25 at 7:20 a.m. from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana. NASA will be streaming the launch of the new telescope, which means you can tune in from anywhere to catch all the space action live.
How to watch the James Webb Space Telescope launch
If you’re interested in catching the launch, there will be a lot of ways to tune in. First, you’ll be able to watch the James Webb Space Telescope take off directly on NASA Live. Space.com will also be hosting the stream. NASA also plans to showcase the stream on its Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, and Twitter accounts.
Live coverage of the Webb Space Telescope’s launch will begin around 3 a.m. EST on Saturday, December 25. The coverage will kick into high gear around 6 a.m. according to Space.com. The launch stream will include coverage of Webb’s Ariane 5 launch site, as well as footage from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Additionally, we’ll also see footage from the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland. That institute is home to the mission operations center behind the James Webb Space Telescope.
Operating beyond the Hubble Telescope
As its successor, the James Webb Space Telescope will operate beyond the capabilities of the Hubble Space Telescope before it. The Hubble, which launched 31 years ago, has continued to be serviceable due to its fairly close orbit to Earth. NASA’s planned orbit for the Webb Space Telescope will put it much further away, though, roughly 1,000,000 miles from the planet.
Putting it so far away will allow Webb to capture more of the Solar System. Its primary goal is to study and observe light from the early universe. Scientists hope that will allow them to learn more about the earliest stars and galaxies, as well as how they formed. It should also bring an increase to our understanding of objects closer to the planet, like exoplanets and even things within our own Solar System.
NASA has a lot of plans for the Webb Space Telescope. If you’re a space buff, I definitely recommend tuning in to one of the livestreams listed above to see the launch for yourself.