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There are numerous differences between the two space telescopes, the most obvious among them being size. Whereas Hubble is the size of a small bus, the JWST closer to the size of a tennis court. It is the largest and most ambitious space telescope that has been built, so far.
Moreover, comparing Hubble to the JWST is kind of like comparing an old landline to today’s smartphones. While Hubble observed in the UV to near infrared range, the JWST can capture high-resolution infrared images. Being able to observe infrared is crucial to studying the birth of galaxies, stars, and planets out of the dust and gas of the cosmos.
Hubble was launched in 1996 and supposed to stay in service for 10 years but is still going strong after three decades in service, although it has needed some maintenance every now and then. The JWST has much more advanced technology, being almost 100 times more sensitive than its predecessor, and it is going to need every edge it can get.
That sounds ominous. What do you mean by that?
Hubble and the JWST are not only very different machines, but they are also going to be used in very different ways. Hubble orbits the earth, and this allows for astronauts to carry out maintenance through space missions, as needed. There will be no such opportunity with the JWST, as it will literally be out of our reach.
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