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It has taken billions of dollars and more than two decades to build, but the successor to the Hubble Telescope is in space and waking up. Thanks to its ability to observe infrared light, the James Webb Space Telescope is able to see way beyond Hubble’s range and further back in time.

Science reporter Ivan Semeniuk explains how this new telescope works, what scientists hope to learn from it and why Canada’s contributions are critical to the mission’s success.