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the james webb telescope


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2 hours ago, LonghornSean said:

 

It's so incredible that we have a telescope with a golden mirror a million miles away that's able to make micro adjustments that are fractions of the wavelength of light. And it all fucking works!

I'm so excited to see the science that comes out of this triumph

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4 minutes ago, Captainant said:

It's so incredible that we have a telescope with a golden mirror a million miles away that's able to make micro adjustments that are fractions of the wavelength of light. And it all fucking works!

I'm so excited to see the science that comes out of this triumph

Don’t forget it has a delta T of like 200 K front to back. 

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James Webb Telescope hit by micrometeoroid just months into flight.

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NASA's next-generation space observatory has sustained its first noticeable micrometeoroid impact less than six months after launch, but the agency isn't too concerned.

The James Webb Space Telescope, also known as Webb or JWST, launched on Dec. 25, 2021. It has spent the intervening months trekking out to its deep-space post and preparing for science observations, a complicated process that has gone remarkably smoothly; recently, NASA said it expects to unveil the first science-quality images from the telescope on July 12.

 

Now, the agency announced(opens in new tab) on Wednesday (June 8) that the observatory has experienced its first few impacts from tiny pieces of space debris called micrometeoroids. But don't panic: Neither the observatory's schedule nor its scientific legacy is expected to suffer.

"With Webb's mirrors exposed to space, we expected that occasional micrometeoroid impacts would gracefully degrade telescope performance over time," Lee Feinberg, Webb optical telescope element manager at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, said in the statement. "Since launch, we have had four smaller measurable micrometeoroid strikes that were consistent with expectations, and this one more recently that is larger than our degradation predictions assumed."

The most serious of the impacts occurred between May 23 and May 25 and affected the C3 segment of the 18-piece gold-plated hexagonal primary mirror, according to the statement.

All spacecraft are expected to experience and designed to withstand micrometeoroid impacts, and JWST is no different. The observatory's engineers even subjected mirror samples to real impacts to understand how such events might affect the mission's science.
 
However, the recent impact was larger than those that mission personnel had modeled or could test on the ground, according to the statement.
Despite the impact coming so early in the observatory's tenure, NASA officials are confident that the $10 billion telescope will still perform adequately.
 
"We always knew that Webb would have to weather the space environment, which includes harsh ultraviolet light and charged particles from the sun, cosmic rays from exotic sources in the galaxy, and occasional strikes by micrometeoroids within our solar system," Paul Geithner, technical deputy project manager at NASA Goddard, said in the statement. "We designed and built Webb with performance margin — optical, thermal, electrical, mechanical — to ensure it can perform its ambitious science mission even after many years in space."

In addition, JWST launched with its optics in even better shape than the agency bargained for, officials noted in the statement.

Some micrometeoroid impacts can be predicted, officials wrote. For example, when the spacecraft is set to fly through known meteor showers, personnel can maneuver JWST's optical systems into safety for these events. However, the recent impact was not part of such a meteor shower and the statement classified it as "an unavoidable chance event."
 
After an impact occurs, engineers can individually adjust the 18 primary mirror segments on the observatory to keep the mirror as a whole finely tuned.
 

As the JWST team continues to evaluate the impact, NASA is focused on better understanding both the particular event and the environment that the observatory will experience throughout its mission. The telescope is orbiting what scientists call the Earth-sun Lagrange point 2, located nearly 1 million miles (1.5 million kilometers) away from Earth in the direction opposite the sun.

"We will use this flight data to update our analysis of performance over time and also develop operational approaches to assure we maximize the imaging performance of Webb to the best extent possible for many years to come," Feinberg said.

 

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On 5/10/2022 at 1:31 AM, Sam Lin said:

They've released some prelim images after alignment. It's stellar. (you can tip your waiter)

New image on right, image from older telescope on the left. Image taken from this article:

https://gizmodo.com/webb-telescope-sharp-images-nasa-1848899825

 

1194031360_webbimage.thumb.png.b610ced7955a1c48f5177014aa380529.png

JJ Abrams underestimated the amount of lens flare in real space.

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There is an incredible amount of gravitational lensing in the center of that photo, with a few of those galaxies doubled up.  It’s absolutely mind blowing the sheer scale of the universe…cannot wrap my head around it

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X-posted from the DT thread:

A test of Webb's tracking systems yielded this image of Jupiter:

Per a NASA presser, the image was taken during the testing buildup prior to last Tuesday's image releases. Webb utilized its NIRCam (near-infrared?) instrument's short-wavelength filter to highlight the planet's bands and Great Red Spot.

Higher res version here:

Spoiler

jupiter_hi_res_atmo-1.png

 

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The James Webb Space Telescope has found the oldest known galaxy in the universe.

The collection of stars – called ArmyBrat GLASS-z1 – dates to just 300 million years after the big bang. This bests the previous oldest galaxy, known as GN-Z11, spotted by the Hubble Space Telescope by 100 million years.

The researchers, from the Harvard and Smithsonian Centre of Astrophysics in Massachusetts, also discovered a second galaxy called GLASS-z11 which is roughly the same age.

Both of the galaxies have a mass equivalent to one billion suns, which the team suggests is what they would expect from 500 million-year-old - which could indicate that the stars formed even earlier than scientists think.

 

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