James Webb Space Telescope

Webb is the premier observatory of the next decade, serving thousands of astronomers worldwide. It studies every phase in the history of our Universe.

active Mission

Webb studies every phase in the history of our Universe, ranging from the first luminous glows after the Big Bang, to the formation of solar systems capable of supporting life on planets like Earth, to the evolution of our own Solar System. Webb launched on Dec. 25th 2021. It does not orbit around the Earth like the Hubble Space Telescope, it orbits the Sun 1.5 million kilometers (1 million miles) away from the Earth at what is called the second Lagrange point or L2. 

Mission Type





Dec 25, 2021

Arrival at L2

Jan 24, 2022

Key Facts

This image is from Webb’s NIRCam instrument, which saw this nebula in the near-infrared.

extending the tantalizing discoveries of the Hubble Space Telescope.

Engineers Prep James Webb Telescope for Integration

So big it has to fold origami-style to fit in the rocket and will unfold like a “Transformer” in space.

Webb Lagrange Points

Webb orbits the Sun 1.5 million kilometers from the Earth. (Hubble orbits 560 kilometers above the Earth.)

NASA’s Webb Sunshield Successfully Unfolds and Tensions in Final Tests

Webb has a 5-layer sunshield that protects the telescope from the infrared radiation of the Sun, Earth, and Moon; like having sun protection of SPF 1 million.

The image shows the galaxy cluster SMACS 0723 as it appeared 4.6 billion years ago

iIt will peer back in time over 13.5 billion years to see the first galaxies born after the Big Bang.in the ISS.

Image: Protoplanetary Disk (Artist Concept)

Webb Study Reveals Rocky Planets Can Form in Extreme Environments

An international team of astronomers has used NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope to provide the first observation of water and other molecules in the highly irradiated inner, rocky-planet-forming regions of a disk in one of the most extreme environments in our galaxy. These results suggest that the conditions for terrestrial planet formation can occur in a possible broader range of environments than previously thought. 

The image is dominated by a dusty disk extending from upper left to lower right and tilted toward the viewer. It resembles patchy clouds with small rocky bits scattered throughout. At 4 o’clock and 11 o’clock are two small, embedded planets. The outer edges of the disk are reddish, the middle orange, and the inner region yellow-white. At the center is a gap within which is a bright white star.
This is an artist’s impression of a young star surrounded by a protoplanetary disk in which planets are forming.
ESO/L. Calçada

Latest News

Webb's latest news releases in reverse chronological order.

No results.

Latest Images

In this slideshow of Webb's latest images, click any image to view a detail page with descriptions and the ability to view/download images in various resolutions (download icon in lower right on detail page).

Herbig-Haro (HH) 797
Featured Story

Webb Celebrates First Year of Science With Close-up on Birth of Sun-like Stars

From our cosmic backyard in the solar system to distant galaxies near the dawn of time, NASA’s James Webb Space…

Read the Story