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The James Webb Space Telescope has launched!!

 
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Zarathustra
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2021 5:14 pm    Post subject: The James Webb Space Telescope has launched!! Reply with quote

https://www.space.com/james-webb-space-telescope-beyond-moon-orbit

This one definitely deserves a thread of its own! We now have a "new Hubble" in space. The JWST is now sailing past the moon and has successfully navigated its 2nd of 3 course corrections. The unfolding and deployment of the telescope will be tricky--absolutely no margin for error in 1000s of tiny steps. But after that we should be treated to an unprecedented view of the universe.

The JWST will not just look farther into space, and produce clearer images. This is no mere incremental improvement on Hubble. JWST will look farther back in time than we've ever looked, all the way back to the beginning of light itself, when the universe became transparent so that the light of the very first stars could propagate through the universe. This is literally as far as any telescope can look. As such, it will fill in a hole in our understanding of how the universe formed, showing us how the very first galaxies came together.

Because of red shift and the expansion of the universe, the light from this very early stage in the universe is completely red-shifted out of the visible spectrum, into the infrared. That's why Hubble--which looks at visible light--can't see it. The JWST only looks in infrared. This is a huge advantage over visible light, which is scattered by dust clouds. The JWST will be able to peer right through the obscuring dust of our galaxy, into the heart of the Milky Way (and other galaxies).

It will also possess high enough resolution to actually image the planets around other stars and see them in enough clarity to detect the elements in their atmospheres, so that we can SEE if there is life on other planets outside our solar system.

If there is life outside our solar system, the JWST will be able to see it!

Wow. This is an exciting time to be alive!
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2021 3:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had seen headlines and my sister was unusually excited about this telescope when it launched but I didn't know why.
Now I do, thanks to you.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2021 4:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I only heard about this the other day. pretty incredible! Can't wait to see it in action!
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2021 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What a project! I was watching an interview with one of the project managers a couple of weeks ago who said that there were around 300 different operations that had to work in order for the telescope to work. A true marvel of engineering.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2022 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JWST has completed both the unfurling of its 5 layer heat shield and unfolded all of its 18 mirrors!

Now all that is left is getting it into L2 orbit and calibrating all of its mirrors to produce a coherent picture. This will take some months. First pictures are expected in June. But the entire team at NASA can now breathe easy. 25 years of work and $10 billion was not wasted! It deployed flawlessly.

On a side note, calibrating the mirrors requires motors that can adjust the mirrors to angles on the scale of a virus! And each mirror is polished so smooth that if you expanded the JWST to the size of our continent, the flaws in its smoothness would only rise to about your ankle!

It's amazing that we can do such things.
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Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2022 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Even NASA is surprised by how well everything went.

Extraordinary stuff. Gotta love details like this:
Quote:
The release of Webb's diamond-shaped sun shield, the cover that will protect the observatory's mirrors and instruments from our star's glare, was undoubtedly the most stressful part. The five-tiered shield is the size of a tennis court, and each layer is made of material as thin as a human hair. Engineers had warned, in the days before launch, that this sun shield, floppy and unpredictable, could snag and potentially doom the whole mission. But earlier this week, each layer snapped into its final position, just as engineers had imagined.


Hey, here's an interesting thing;
Quote:
The first "this has to work" moment came just a half hour after Webb launched. The observatory released its solar panel, stretching it like an insect arching a wing toward the sun. Now the observatory could power itself and could move on with ever more complex steps on the checklist that has consumed the scientists until today.
I'm thinking the solar panels on my roof would not be able to power this. I'm thinking they have much more efficient solar panels. If true, they should start using them everywhere, and help with the world's energy needs.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2022 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They spent $10 billion on this. Iím sure they spared no expense. They probably have solar panels that would not be feasible for the mass market. Or the telescope doesnít really use all that much energy.

Another interesting detail: the launch went so perfectly, they saved enough fuel to greatly extend its expected 10 year mission!

We could learn of extra terrestrial life this year!
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Meaning is created internally by each individual in each specific life: any attempt at *meaning* which relies on some kind of external superstructure (God, Satan, the Creator, the Worm, whatever) for its substance misses the point (I mean the point of my story). -SRD

Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2022 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Learning of extraterrestrial life would be the ultimate, eh? Very Happy
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2022 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finding out that we are not alone in the universe and/or finding a habitable planet, could change everything about how we approach space and space travel and could give us even more reason to improve space innovation.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2022 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would certainly reframe the whole nationalist / racist discussion if we're all humans together... Very Happy

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2022 7:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Has anyone else seen the first batch of photos!? Beautiful and incredible and just so awesome. I've been waiting for these for so many years I was afraid it would never happen. Absolutely can't wait to keep checking for uploads. These are going to just keep getting better and better
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2022 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Balon! I've been enjoying every pic since the first one on 7/11. They are still finding new discoveries in those first pictures! JWST is overturning our understanding of the universe faster than we can keep up. There are a lot of great Youtube videos explaining all the new discoveries.
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Meaning is created internally by each individual in each specific life: any attempt at *meaning* which relies on some kind of external superstructure (God, Satan, the Creator, the Worm, whatever) for its substance misses the point (I mean the point of my story). -SRD

Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2022 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:
Hey Balon! I've been enjoying every pic since the first one on 7/11. They are still finding new discoveries in those first pictures! JWST is overturning our understanding of the universe faster than we can keep up. There are a lot of great Youtube videos explaining all the new discoveries.


Hey!! Great to be back on the Watch!

Did you spot the new Jupiter photos? BREATHTAKING

https://blogs.nasa.gov/webb/2022/08/22/webbs-jupiter-images-showcase-auroras-hazes/


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