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The European Space Agency recently completed a major part of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), the Near InfraRed Spectrograph (NIRSpec).  This incredible space telescope will feature the joint efforts of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency.

 

The NIRSpec will be used to detect light from some of the universe’s earliest galaxies.  This is accomplished through splitting the infrared light into a spectrum of color components.  From here, scientists are able to gather data about chemical composition, distance, age, and dynamic properties of these stars and galaxies.  The NIRSpec will be able observe up to 100 objects at once.

 

“NIRSpec’s completion takes us one step closer to fulfilling JWST’s science goals and answering outstanding questions in astrophysics, such as how the first galaxies and stars formed and evolved,” says Peter Jensen, ESA’s JWST Project Manager.

 

The JWST is scheduled to launch from French Guiana in 2018.