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James Webb Telescope Launched successfully


UltraMega
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NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope launched at 7:20 a.m. EST Saturday on an Ariane 5 rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, South America.

 

A joint effort with ESA (European Space Agency) and the Canadian Space Agency, the Webb observatory is NASA’s revolutionary flagship mission to seek the light from the first galaxies in the early universe and to explore our own solar system, as well as planets orbiting other stars, called exoplanets. 

 

“The James Webb Space Telescope represents the ambition that NASA and our partners maintain to propel us forward into the future,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “The promise of Webb is not what we know we will discover; it’s what we don’t yet understand or can’t yet fathom about our universe. I can’t wait to see what it uncovers!”

 

Ground teams began receiving telemetry data from Webb about five minutes after launch. The Arianespace Ariane 5 rocket performed as expected, separating from the observatory 27 minutes into the flight. The observatory was released at an altitude of approximately 870 miles (1,400 kilometers). Approximately 30 minutes after launch, Webb unfolded its solar array, and mission managers confirmed that the solar array was providing power to the observatory. After solar array deployment, mission operators will establish a communications link with the observatory via the Malindi ground station in Kenya, and ground control at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore will send the first commands to the spacecraft.

 

Engineers and ground controllers will conduct the first of three mid-course correction burns about 12 hours and 30 minutes after launch, firing Webb’s thrusters to maneuver the spacecraft on an optimal trajectory toward its destination in orbit about 1 million miles from Earth.

 

“I want to congratulate the team on this incredible achievement – Webb’s launch marks a significant moment not only for NASA, but for thousands of people worldwide who dedicated their time and talent to this mission over the years,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “Webb’s scientific promise is now closer than it ever has been. We are poised on the edge of a truly exciting time of discovery, of things we’ve never before seen or imagined.”

 

The world’s largest and most complex space science observatory will now begin six months of commissioning in space. At the end of commissioning, Webb will deliver its first images. Webb carries four state-of-the-art science instruments with highly sensitive infrared detectors of unprecedented resolution. Webb will study infrared light from celestial objects with much greater clarity than ever before. The premier mission is the scientific successor to NASA’s iconic Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes, built to complement and further the scientific discoveries of these and other missions.

NASA's Webb Telescope Launches to See First Galaxies, Distant Worlds | NASA

 

I will update this thread as new news and information comes out. I'll probably change the title later on to better represent the ongoing news coverage. Anyone who has interesting info or thoughts on this, feel free to update this thread as well! 

 

 

Edited by UltraMega
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Additional info:

 

Spoiler

The James Webb Space Telescope has an expected mass about half of Hubble Space Telescope's, but its primary mirror, a 6.5 m (21 ft) diameter gold-coated beryllium reflector will have a collecting area over six times as large, 25.4 m2 (273 sq ft), using 18 hexagonal mirrors with 0.9 m2 (9.7 sq ft) obscuration for the secondary support struts.

 

 

JWST is designed primarily for near-infrared astronomy, but can also see orange and red visible light, as well as the mid-infrared region, depending on the instrument. The design emphasizes the near to mid-infrared for three main reasons:

  • high-redshift objects have their visible emissions shifted into the infrared
  • cold objects such as debris disks and planets emit most strongly in the infrared
  • this band is difficult to study from the ground or by existing space telescopes such as Hubble

 

Ground-based telescopes must look through Earth's atmosphere, which is opaque in many infrared bands (see figure of atmospheric absorption). Even where the atmosphere is transparent, many of the target chemical compounds, such as water, carbon dioxide, and methane, also exist in the Earth's atmosphere, vastly complicating analysis. Existing space telescopes such as Hubble cannot study these bands since their mirrors are insufficiently cool (the Hubble mirror is maintained at about 15 °C (288 K; 59 °F)) thus the telescope itself radiates strongly in the infrared bands.

 

JWST will operate near the Earth–Sun L2 (Lagrange point), approximately 1,500,000 km (930,000 mi) beyond Earth's orbit. By way of comparison, Hubble orbits 550 km (340 mi) above Earth's surface, and the Moon is roughly 400,000 km (250,000 mi) from Earth. This distance made post-launch repair or upgrade of JWST hardware virtually impossible with the spaceships available during the telescope design and fabrication stage. Objects near this Lagrange point can orbit the Sun in synchrony with the Earth, allowing the telescope to remain at a roughly constant distance and with constant orientation of the single heatshield and the Bus toward the earth and the sun to block heat and light from the Sun and Earth and maintain communications. This arrangement will keep the temperature of the spacecraft below 50 K (−223 °C; −370 °F), necessary for infrared observations.

 

 

 

This image gives an idea of why the larger size of the JWSC will allow it to see more distant objects. Because light gets essentially stretched out more and more the further it travels, a larger telescope is needed to see it. 

James-Webb-redshift-diagram.png?fit=1780

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Very interesting stuff.  Been keeping my eye on this for a while, still not sure how I feel about it lol.  On one hand, what they're proposing is just, wow.  Seeing the beginning of the universe......  But on the other hand, how's this going to affect things outside of science?  Is this going to prove creationism, the big bang theory, or any other explanation to how the universe was created?  I mean, what are they actually going to see with this thing?  Don't get me wrong, I think this is fantastic, and hopefully it'll help answer some questions that are older than a millennium.  But....guess we'll see!  I'm just not sure that humanity is ready for something like this, but I hope I'm wrong on that. 🙂

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31 minutes ago, pioneerisloud said:

Very interesting stuff.  Been keeping my eye on this for a while, still not sure how I feel about it lol.  On one hand, what they're proposing is just, wow.  Seeing the beginning of the universe......  But on the other hand, how's this going to affect things outside of science?  Is this going to prove creationism, the big bang theory, or any other explanation to how the universe was created?  I mean, what are they actually going to see with this thing?  Don't get me wrong, I think this is fantastic, and hopefully it'll help answer some questions that are older than a millennium.  But....guess we'll see!  I'm just not sure that humanity is ready for something like this, but I hope I'm wrong on that. 🙂

When people say this thing is a time machine, what they really mean is it will see light from sources that are really far away and because light takes time to travel through space, the further away something is the further back in time we see it as. Like how it takes 8 minutes for light to travel from the sun to the earth, so if you look at the sun from earth you are seeing it how it looked 8 minutes ago. Likewise, if you look at a galaxy that's 10 billion light-years away, you see it as it looked 10 billion years ago except actually it will look a lot more red due to the light being stretched out when it travels over great distances.  

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  • UltraMega changed the title to James Webb Telescope Launched successfully
WWW.TECHSPOT.COM

The observatory should now have enough propellant to support science operations well past its 10-year...

 

 

Apparently the launch had gone so well so far that the telescope has extra fuel now, and can thus last longer. 

 

 

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EHW News Editor
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16 minutes ago, iamjanco said:

Fermi paradox applied to multiverse... Blow Your Mind Wow GIF by Product Hunt

 

 

Multiverse isn't something I follow much even though I would say astronomy is a hobby like interest of mine, it's just too speculative to be all that interesting; but as I understand it other universes wouldn't necessarily have the same fundamental rules. Something like atomic forces being ever so slightly different from ours would result in a universe that probably wouldn't even form general elements so the Fermi paradox probably wouldn't really apply. Well not only that but the Fermi paradox asks why we haven't found other life yet, and for any life in another universe, that's definitely why we haven't found it... being in another universe and all. 

 

There is an interesting podcast I listened to a while back with Edward Snowden and he talked about how alien life could easily use cosmic background noise to hide interstellar signals and the encryption would be so strong we'd never find it. It's also possible there is life out there and they have some kind of interstellar government (or federation perhaps) that has rules about avoiding contact with less advanced worlds like ours. 

 

Then again one of the aspects of the Fermi paradox is that life can be common but just never lasts that long. Perhaps in nature, anytime a species evolves intelligence they end up eventually consuming all the resources on their planet or just don't last for various other reasons, maybe viruses. The way things are going on our world, it doesn't seem far fetched at all that our species may not last too long. 

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