Why does Webb orbit L2?So why send Webb to orbit Sun-Earth L2? Because it is an ideal location for an infrared observatory . At Sun-Earth L2, the Sun and Earth (and Moon, too) are always on one side of space, allowing Webb to keep its telescope optics and instruments perpetually shaded.
What is the L2 orbit?L2 is located 1.5 million kilometres directly ‘behind’ the Earth as viewed from the Sun . It is about four times further away from the Earth than the Moon ever gets and orbits the Sun at the same rate as the Earth. It is a great place from which to observe the larger Universe.
How does JWST orbit L2?Webb will orbit the Sun near the second Sun-Earth Lagrange point (L2), which lies approximately 1.5 million kilometers (1 million miles) from Earth on the far side of Earth from the Sun. Webb will not be located precisely at L2, but will move in a halo orbit around L2 as it orbits the Sun .
Does L2 orbit the Earth?A Solar Orbit
This allows the satellite’s large sunshield to protect the telescope from the light and heat of the Sun and Earth (and Moon). Webb will orbit the sun 1.5 million kilometers (1 million miles) away from the Earth at what is called the second Lagrange point or L2 . (Note that these graphics are not to scale.)