Gold may be the key to finding space aliens!
After years of development, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) was launched into space on Christmas day.
The $10 billion telescope was conceived in 1996 as a replacement for the Hubble Telescope. Scientists hope the device will unlock many “mysteries of the universe.” Its creators claim the telescope will allow us to “look back in time to see the very first galaxies that formed in the early Universe.”
And thanks to its gold mirrors and incredibly sensitive camera system, it may allow us to detect alien life out in space.
The power of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will dwarf that of the Hubble Telescope, offering unprecedented resolution and sensitivity. The telescope’s ability to “see” deep into the infrared spectrum will allow it to image the distant universe as far back as the first galaxies and even the first stars.
Gold will help make this amazing imaging possible.
The telescope’s mirrors stand 6.5 meters tall. They are made of beryllium and coated with a microscopic layer of pure gold.
Because the yellow metal is one of the very best materials at reflecting infrared light.
Scientists say the JWST will have seven times the light-gathering power of the Hubble Space Telescope.
With that kind of observation power, the telescope might just be able to pick up signs of life out there in the cosmos.
Astronomers at the University of Washington proposed the possibility of “life-detection” observations using the telescope. Joshua Krissansen-Totton and his team told the BBC they have looked into whether the telescope could detect signs of what they call “biosignatures” in the atmospheres of planets that are orbiting a nearby star.
The reasoning is that if all life on Earth disappeared tomorrow, the many gases which make up our atmosphere would undergo natural chemical reactions, and the atmosphere would slowly revert to a different chemical mixture. It is continually held away from this state by organisms on our planet expelling waste gases as they live. Because of this, searching for signs of oxygen (or its chemical cousin ozone) has long been thought to be a good way of finding life.”
Monitoring changes in light as a planet passes between the earth and another star can enable scientists to analyze the chemical makeup of the planet’s atmosphere.
From time to time, you will hear people inexplicably say, “Gold is just a useless metal.” They claim that gold’s value is simply “a matter of faith.”
This is sheer nonsense. In fact, gold is one of the most useful metals on the planet and would probably have even more practical applications if it wasn’t so rare and expensive. The truth is gold did not become money because it wasn’t useful for anything else. Its role as money actually evolved because it is so valuable and has so many uses.
As World Gold Council consultant Trevor Keel wrote, “This is probably the most visible example of gold’s utility in space exploration, but there are many other critical applications.”
The WGC has produced a video highlighting the use of gold in space exploration. Keel said, “Indeed in many ways, this is a perfect story of circularity; a metal that was born in distant stars billions of years ago is now at the heart of the technology crucial to seeing further into the universe than ever before.”