Yesterday I received a question about where the new James Webb Space Telescope is located. Is it in orbit of the Earth, like Hubble? Is it out in deep space?
The answer is no, not really. Now I spent this morning trying to illustrate the answer to that question myself. However, it’s taking me too long. So we’re going to reference this great illustration from Scientific American.
James Webb orbits around a point called the L2 Lagrange point, which sits in a line with Earth and the Sun. The telescope points out and away from the sun whilst the sun shield keeps the sunlight from warming the spacecraft while solar panels collect said light and power the spacecraft.
So if any of my other readers had a similar question, hopefully this goes some ways to answering the question.
Credit for the piece goes to Michael Twombly.