2022 60¢ James Webb Space Telescope
Value: 60¢ 1-Ounce First-class Rate (Forever)
Issue Date: September 8, 2022
First Day City: Washington, DC
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America
Printing Method: Offset, Microprint
Format: Pane of 20
Quantity Printed: 30,000,000
The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) was the most powerful telescope ever launched into space as of 2022. The telescope was named after James E. Webb, administrator of NASA from 1961 to 1968. It was designed as a successor to the famous Hubble Space Telescope and features improvements to allow for higher resolutiona nd better images. It is hoped the Webb telescope will give astronomers the chance to investigate some of the oldest stars and galaxies in the universe from the safety of planet Earth.
The Hubble Space Telescope was smaller than JWST and observed objects in ultraviolet, visible, and near-infrared light. JWST, on the other hand, observes objects in a lower frequency range from long-wave visible (red) light through mid-infrared. It is equipped with a powerful kite-shaped sunshield to keep direct light from the Sun and indirect light from the Moon and Earth from hitting it. This was done to keep the telescope at the extremely cold temperature (50 Kelvin or -370 ºF) required to keep it functioning. JWST orbits the Sun at 930,000 miles from Earth.
JWST was supposed to launch in 2007, but was delayed by unforeseen circumstances (including the COVID-19 pandemic, which began in 2020). The telescope finally launched in December 2021, marking the beginning of a new era in space imaging.