New Era In Space: Watch James Webb Space Telescope Launch on Christmas Day

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The James Webb Space Telescope launched successfully early Saturday, rising skyward aboard an Ariane 5 rocket that lifted off at 7:20 a.m. Eastern Standard Time from a pad in Kourou, French Guiana, and beginning a 29-day journey to its orbital perch some 1 million miles from Earth, according to The Wall Street Journal.

For scientists worldwide, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s orbiting observatory—the largest, most powerful instrument of its type ever built—will herald a new era of discovery in space.

One hundred times as powerful as the Hubble Space Telescope, Webb will help astronomers peer at some of the oldest galaxies and stars in the universe, search for signs of habitability in the atmospheres of planets outside our solar system and study mysterious forces like dark energy using its infrared sensors.

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