The James Webb Space Telescope and Cosmology

Question:  As per current observations mostly from Hubble telescope and its deep field view, that universe is accelerating much faster at its observable edges, which forms the basis for Hubble constant and the age of the universe. Will the age of universe be modified once the James Webb telescope comes into operation as it can look much deeper forming a new observable edge for the universe and hence much more acceleration than the current one. (Please correct me if I am wrong).  – Vinod

Answer:  The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will definitely help us understand what an important phase of the formation of the Universe looked like by allowing us to measure the light from the first stars formed.  Those stars were the source of energy which resulted in an epoch of reionization, another important phase of the evolution of our Universe.  By characterizing these phases of the history of the Universe we learn about its physical properties and evolution, including the age of the Universe during these phases.  The fine folks at NASA have produced a nice description (with video!) of this era of first light and reionization which does a nice job of explaining this important era in the evolution of our Universe.

Jeff Mangum

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