What image resolution will the James Webb telescope will capture?

04 September 2011

Question

What is the resolution of the images that telescopes like the James Webb can capture?

Answer

Well the telescope is in fact bigger than the Hubble Space Telescope. It's 6.5 metres, but it's designed to image in the infrared. Its images in the infrared will be as precise and as fine as the Hubble images are at the optical. So it will take as spectacular images as the Hubble does, but at infrared wavelengths. And so, for the first time, we'll see the universe in the infrared with the clarity and spectacular image quality of the Hubble Space Telescope. The size of the cameras is actually very large. We've used the latest infrared ray technology and one of our prime cameras, called the near infrared camera - not very imaginative I'm afraid - will actually take instantaneous pictures which are roughly 33 megapixels in size. So we'll get very large images.

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