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Posts Tagged ‘webb space telescope’

New Webb Telescope Video Takes Viewers ‘Beyond The Visible Light’

September 12, 2012 Leave a comment

There are a lot of things that are hidden from our sight, and NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope is going to open up another world in the way we look at the cosmos. The Webb telescope is going to do that by looking beyond visible light at infrared light, and that’s the focus of a new light-hearted, educational animated video.

Viewers will learn about the discovery of infrared radiation, and the electromagnetic spectrum, using simple examples to show objects that may be hidden from visible sight, but apparent in infrared light. Infrared vision enables us to see through gas and dust to warmer objects, like stars. Viewers will also learn what “redshifting” means and what questions can be answered using the amazing new detectors of infrared light being developed on NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope.

“We found that one of the main questions that gets asked about Webb is, ‘Will it be able to see the same things Hubble sees,’ or ‘Why doesn’t it see visible light?’,” said Tracy Vogel, scriptwriter at the Space Science Telescope Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Md. “This video was an attempt to answer that question — which is a pretty complicated question — in a fast, uncomplicated way. You can explain that using calculations and charts, or you can explain it using rubber duckies and sneezing planets. We like rubber duckies, and we think other people prefer them as well, so that’s what we went with.”

Full Story and Video: http://www.nasa.gov/topics/technology/features/webb-beyond-vis.html

Second Flight Instrument Delivered For James Webb Space Telescope

August 13, 2012 Leave a comment

The second of four main instruments to fly aboard NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (Webb) has been delivered to NASA. The Fine Guidance Sensor (FGS) will enable the telescope to accurately and precisely point at the correct, intended objects for it to observe. The FGS is packaged together as a single unit with the Near-Infrared Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (NIRISS) science instrument.

FGS/NIRISS arrived at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., July 30. It has been undergoing inspection before post-delivery testing and then integration into Webb’s science instrument payload known as the Integrated Science Instrument Module (ISIM).

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) developed the Webb’s Fine Guidance Sensor and the Near-Infrared Imager and Slitless Spectrograph.

The FGS consists of two identical cameras that are critical to Webb’s ability to “see.” Their images will allow the telescope to determine its position, locate its celestial targets, and remain pointed to collect high-quality data. The FGS will guide the telescope with incredible precision, with an accuracy of one millionth of a degree of angle.

Full Story: http://www.nasa.gov/topics/technology/features/2nd-webb-inst.html

Cryogenic Testing Completed for JWST Mirrors

December 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Cryogenic testing is complete for the final six primary mirror segments and a secondary mirror that will fly on NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope. The milestone represents the successful culmination of a process that took years and broke new ground in manufacturing and testing large mirrors.

“The mirror completion means we can build a large, deployable telescope for space,” said Scott Willoughby, vice president and Webb program manager at Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. “We have proven real hardware will perform to the requirements of the mission.”

The Webb telescope has 21 mirrors, with 18 mirror segments working together as a large 21.3-foot (6.5-meter) primary mirror. Each individual mirror segment now has been successfully tested to operate at 40 Kelvin (-387 Fahrenheit or -233 Celsius).

Full Story: http://www.nasa.gov/topics/technology/features/webb-mirror-cryo.html