December 26, The James Webb Telescope
The huge, James Webb space telescope was launched on Christmas Day;
From twenty years to build and test, it’s finally away.
A deep space orbit has been planned to gaze way back in time,
Right after the Big Bang had fashioned matter and spacetime.
We hope the telescope can see the first stars that were formed
When gravity collapsed some gas and spacetime first deformed.
It’s also been designed to see photons of infrared;
Equations say they should be there…or something else, instead?
The creatures that evolved on our small, third rock from the Sun,
Have wondered for millennia how all this had begun.
We’ve written lots of stories: some with gods, some none at all.
Will James Webb send a better story back to our blue ball?
Too far away to go and fix, it has to work just right.
(You might remember Hubble’s faulty lens distorting light.)
So there will be some bated breath, ‘til James Webb first checks in,
Reporting everything is fine, then we can breathe again.
Of all creation stories, we know evidence supports
The Big Bang version; now we’ll see what’s in James Webb’s reports.
We’ll add that to our data base on how it all began.
And, will there be surprises as we let the James Webb scan?
The difference in creation stories is: we’ve learned to test.
Hypotheses are tested now, while in the past, we guessed.
We’ve put a lot of time and money into this new ‘scope.
Will this investment pay off big? Well, that’s our New Year’s hope.