Giant Telescopes of Tomorrow

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Neil deGrasse Tyson and telescope dog

James Webb Space Telescope
Scheduled for launch in 2014, Webb will be seven times as sensitive as its predecessor Hubble. Able to pick out details the size of a Lincoln penny at roughly 25 miles, it will also represent an enormous gain in infrared sensitivity. This will allow it to peer deep inside dust clouds to study star and planet formation. To achieve this, Webb will be parked almost a million miles away from Earth, where a sunshade will block heat from the sun, our planet, and even the moon from striking the telescope's 21-foot mirror, allowing Webb to operate at just 50 degrees above absolute zero.

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