You have probably heard of NASA and its annual efforts in research, technological development, and space exploration. The James Webb Space Telescope, for example, was a major player in 2022 due to the magnitude of its images and discoveries, but what is it and what is this telescope for?
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James Webb Space Telescope
This famous telescope was launched into space in December 2021 aboard the Ariane 5 rocket. It was part of a NASA-led program in partnership with the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency. “This project involved months of preparation for scientific research. In July 2022, the first images were captured by the optical instrument, showing stars, galaxies, planets, and other celestial bodies in a way never seen before, allowing the study of outer space, which was the main objective of space sciences.
Taken from: https://nasa.gov/webbfirstimages
Space sciences integrate different areas of knowledge to study phenomena in outer space. They also analyze the structure and composition of the universe and evaluate the possibility of life on other planets. The James Webb Telescope is one of the most influential instruments for this type of study. It is a successor to the Hubble telescope and has the unique ability to detect the most distant and faintest astronomical objects in the universe.
With its advanced technology, the James Webb telescope will allow scientists to explore the first moments after the Big Bang. Scientists will also be able to study the formation of galaxies and the evolution of stars and their planets. NASA’s “Curious Universe” podcast stated that this telescope would provide precise information and clues to relevant questions. A few examples are the large-scale operation of the universe and planets orbiting other stars.
These topics are appealing to students who want to explore space and can motivate those who dream of becoming astronauts. Children and young people have an innate curiosity and are constantly formulating hypotheses about the universe’s phenomena. That is why, in CloudLabs Virtual STEM, they will be able to interact in a fun way with simulated scenarios that will allow them to study the celestial bodies that make up our solar system and understand Kepler’s laws, as well as the law of universal gravitation, which are key concepts in space exploration.
This will foster a positive attitude towards science and learning, feeding their curiosity and developing strategies to help them enhance their skills and abilities at an early age, thus building meaningful knowledge in which they take a leading role.
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Earth and Space Science at CloudLabs
One of the study topics available to students in CloudLabs’ virtual laboratories is ‘Earth and Space Science’, where they can immerse themselves in simulated scenarios for studying the universe and our planet, facing a challenging situation in a real-life context, and assuming a leading role. Some of the simulations available are:
Universal Gravitation: In this simulated environment, students will work as aerospace engineers to send a satellite to a randomly assigned celestial body. To do so, they will apply the law of universal gravitation to calculate the escape velocity and determine the radius of the satellite’s orbit from Earth to the celestial body. In addition, they will capture the images needed for the research.
The Solar System: In this laboratory simulation, students will take on the role of monitors at the city’s most famous planetarium, configuring and presenting an astronomical projection of the solar system based on the most recent scientific model of the solar system, as well as the key concepts for its projection. To do so, they must first set up the main star, then their orbits, and ensure each planet is in the right orbit. In addition, they will simulate the planets’ behavior in translational motions based on the previous configuration.
Kepler’s Laws: In this simulated environment, students will conduct an astronomical investigation after discovering an unknown celestial body that turns out to be a planet. They will play the role of astronomers in a university research group, using Kepler’s laws to determine which planet it is.
In this way, students will be able to interact with real-world situations related to space sciences, such as planet study, celestial body discovery, and space travel, among other things, arousing interest in studying these phenomena and motivating students who want to work on these fields.