Schweitzer develops James Webb Telescope with: ‘Opens a unique window into the universe’

Updated on 01/17/2022 at 11:52 AM

  • Adrian Glauser received a huge honour.
  • An astrophysicist from the Astronomical Technical Institute in Zurich worked on the development of the James Webb Telescope, which was sent into space three weeks ago.
  • “I’ve been waiting for this for many years and imagined how I would feel in this moment,” he says in an interview.

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The James Webb Telescope is one of the most ambitious space projects. On December 25, 2021, it was launched into space aboard an Ariane 5 rocket from the French Guiana Cosmodrome. In the huge project, which took more than 20 years to build and cost about ten billion US dollars ETH astrophysicist Adrian Glauser a job.

Follow the missile launch with his family live, as he is doing now In an interview with “Blick.ch” reveal. “I’ve waited for many years and imagined how I would feel in this moment. And when the moment came, I just saw this missile take off. Of course my hands were sweaty. But I just realized what was going to happen next.”

Glauser explains that the time when the first images can be expected from the telescope is subject to “great secrecy,” which he promises, however, will only take weeks or months. “Currently the telescope is still moving,” says the astrophysicist. “From May, I will be in the control room at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore (USA) again and again, because then the telescope will be completed.” And what does Glauser hope for from the telescope?

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James Webb Telescope offers ‘deepest view of space yet’

“We have clear ideas about certain things that we will see. But the most exciting thing is what we cannot even imagine. It will be that we make discoveries about which we know nothing,” says an expert on the results happily. The telescope “allows the deepest view into space yet.” One of the main goals of this mission is “the ability to observe the entire history of the universe – from the first galaxy to the present day”.

The biggest challenges with the project were the low temperatures in space and the installation of the satellite on a rocket. “Very high forces work when you start. Building something that survives these forces and then operates reliably under extreme conditions is the big difficulty,” Glauser explains.

Adrian Glauser: “The financial side is secondary to me”

He is unaffected by the financial pressure behind the project: “For me, the financial aspect is secondary. The pressure comes from elsewhere: this telescope opens a unique window on the universe. If we lose this opportunity due to a technical flaw, it will be a great loss for humanity. We are all happy because everything is going smoothly so far.”

Incidentally, Glauser is “somewhat crucial” that space companies like Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin offer space tourism trips to a small number of people, since this only allows a small number of people to get into space – “and that’s at the expense of the environment and of no direct benefit to the general public.” the people “.

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Glauser has been a senior researcher at the Institute for Particles and Astrophysics at ETH Zurich since 2014. According to Blick.ch, he is currently working on building a Very Large Telescope in the Chilean Atacama Desert. The giant telescope is scheduled to become operational in 2027.
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These images are out of this world: On July 7, the Jupiter probe Juno flew past the icy moon Ganymede. The probe recorded the electric and magnetic waves generated by the moon. NASA scientists have converted the recorded frequencies into an audio file.

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