The coolest cameras in space… what is the James Webb Space Telescope?

James Webb Space Telescope
The James Webb Space Telescope is set to launch on Christmas Day (Image credit: ESA/ATG medialab)

UPDATE: Four and a half months after liftoff, the James Webb Telescope has successfully been aligned with its complex optical thanks to a team of skilled engineers.  Michael McElwaine, the observatory scientist for the James Webb telescope told CBS News "I'm delighted to report that the telescope alignment has been completed with performance even better than we had anticipated."

On 18 April, the first photos from the James Webb telescope were released and compared to that of the now-retired Spitzer they are incredible thanks to Webb's segmented mirror that measures 21.5ft across - which is 7x bigger than the segmented mirror on the Spitzer. 

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Jamie Carter
Astrophotography expert

Jamie has been writing about all aspects of technology for over 14 years, producing content for sites like TechRadar, T3, Forbes, Mashable, MSN, South China Morning Post, and BBC Wildlife, BBC Focus and BBC Sky At Night magazines. 

As the editor for, he has a wealth of enthusiasm and expertise for all things astrophotography, from capturing the Perseid Meteor Shower, lunar eclipses and ring of fire eclipses, photographing the moon and blood moon and more.

He also brings a great deal of knowledge on action cameras, 360 cameras, AI cameras, camera backpacks, telescopes, gimbals, tripods and all manner of photography equipment. 

With contributions from