COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – Images from the James Webb Space Telescope were released on Monday, showing images deeper into the cosmos than ever before.
Dr. Shawn Cruzen, the Executive Director of Columbus State University’s Coca-Cola Space Science Center, spoke with WRBL about what these discoveries could mean for people on Earth.
“It affects us in two ways; number one- it gives us a fundamental understanding of our universe and specifically about some interesting things like these exoplanets that may be harboring life, somewhere else in our galaxy which is very interesting,” said Dr. Cruzen.
“The second thing is, we all benefit from the engineering of this project because it teaches us all kinds of new skills about material science. Also, about electronics and about the kinds of machines that can be engineered and that filters into our daily life and our society and helps to bolster our economy.”
According to Dr. Cruzen, from the images released on Monday scientists have already been able to discover new information about exoplanets, how early galaxies form, and the regions where stars form. It is allowing scientists to research if the 5,000 extra planets in the atmosphere are habitable and contain life.
The Webb telescope took about 20 years to build and cost $10 billion. It is made of a combination of materials like built-in coolants along with electronic and computer controls. The materials and control led to better imaging systems that could affect several industries like biomedicine, said Dr. Cruzen.
The materials allow it to be 380 degrees below Fahrenheit and work in the infrared light. The detectors in the telescope are colder than the object it is trying to observe in space.
“Those are new developments in materials technology that we really didn’t need to solve problems before but now we have that technology so who knows what kind of applications we’ll be able to use with those brand new invented materials and techniques,” said Dr. Cruzen.
Scientists that assisted in building the Webb telescope have a year-long plan of research they are going to conduct then, scientists everywhere can submit proposals for future research.