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James Webb Space Telescope Spotted by Skywatcher

You can now watch NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope pass across the final frontier thanks to photos from a robotic Earth. The James Webb Space, a decades-long collaboration between NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Canadian Space Agency, was launched early on Dec. 25. Webb was seen moving through space using a roboticfour days later, on Dec. 29, by astrophysicist Gianluca Masi of the Virtual Telescope Project.

Masi compiled some of his photos into a short film of Webb in action, which you can see above. With the help of a little arrow, Webb can be seen as a small white dot in the image and video. Masi’s film shows Webb in orbit, on its journey to its eventual destination, L2, or the Earth-sun Lagrange point 2, which is about 1 million miles (1.5 million kilometres) from Earth. Masi wrote that the observatory was 340,000 miles (550,000 kilometres) away from Earth at the time.

That’s around 160,000 kilometres (160,000 miles) beyond the orbit of the moon. The robotic Telescope monitored Webb’s passage across the sky to capture his “video.” According to the Virtual Project, at the same time Masi was taking these data, Webb extended its deployable tower assembly (DTA), allowing the Telescope to begin deploying its huge sunshield. Check out our top cameras for astrophotography and best lenses for astrophotography if you want to start photographing the night sky. Our guide to the top Telescope can assist you in choosing the right observation gear for you.

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