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ALMA vs James Webb telescopes

  1. Mar 21, 2014 #1
    What are the differences between these telescopes and which telescope will do more for our understanding of the universe? I know that ALMA is a series (66) radio telescopes, however, it also operates with optical telescopes. James Webb is an infrared telescope.
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  3. Mar 21, 2014 #2


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    each is designed to look at different parts of the EM spectrum
    as such there is no competetion between them, they each have their own "jobs"

    Observing the universe over a broad range of frequencies from low freq RF through IR, visible light and to X-rays and Gamma, gives a better overall picture of what is going on out there

  4. Mar 22, 2014 #3
    Thanks for the response. Are you aware of any other capabilities James Webb will be able to do that ALMA won't be able to? I read about James Webb and mentioned it to my brother. He said for 8 billion dollars it's a waste of money in light the fact that the Hubble and other optical telescopes are now outfitted with infrared capabilities and that there are other new generation telescopes coming online soon.
  5. Mar 22, 2014 #4
    We could simply judge which one is gonna be the best by its fame. The JWST is definitely a great expectation for astronomers and cosmologists. But if we are going to judge by the facts, then we'll have a harder time to compare them because they aren't so alike. A great plus of the JWST is that it will be in space, without the distortions the atmosphere can cause. I can't wait to see what this telescope is going to discover.

  6. Mar 22, 2014 #5


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    See http://jwst.nasa.gov/comparison.html [Broken] for discussion of Hubble capabilities. Among other things, it will permit views of the universe out to around z=20. The Hubble can only reach out to z=9 on the best of days.
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