Every day at Astronomy, our editors, page designers, and writers work diligently to produce content that our readers find beneficial. The positive feedback we get for each issue makes our jobs worthwhile, and it’s an especially nice treat when we also get praise from the subjects of our articles for our coverage. So we’re excited that the folks working on NASA’s next big idea, the James Webb Space Telescope, are satisfied with September’s cover story, which explores the work the Webb engineers and scientists have already completed and the goals they hope to accomplish. They like it so much that they are promoting it all over the Internet (via Twitter, Facebook, and their website).
In September’s “The next great space telescope takes shape,” Francis Reddy, a senior science writer at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (and former Astronomy senior editor), explains the need for Webb and exactly what it will look at. “Webb’s mission is as simple as its design is state of the art: to show us what Hubble cannot,” Reddy writes.
Designed to see in infrared light, Webb will go farther than Hubble, which observes mostly visible light. Hubble’s successor will study early galaxies, exploding stars, and the dusty regions of stellar and planetary birth, among other objects. “These represent only a few of the scientific questions that the James Webb Space Telescope will address,” writes Reddy. The future, unlike Webb’s targets, looks bright.