Nasa James Webb Space Telescope Thread


Plz place 3,000 kudos here. kthx
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Sep 6, 2006
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Crown point, IN
I searched and didn't see a thread about the James Webb Space Telescope that launched Dec 25th last year, so this is it.

I watched 25 mins of the first vid. The mind boggles.


TCG Elite Member
Nov 10, 2020
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Yorkville, IL
Go Away GIF

Dr. Jimbo

Here to make the FInP mad
Aug 16, 2005
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Space Pebble That Hit Webb Telescope Caused Significant Damage, Scientists Say​

Isaac Schultz - Yesterday 1:59 PM

Amicrometeoroid that hit the Webb Space Telescope in late May caused permanent damage to the spacecraft, according to a Space Telescope Science Institute report.

An artist’s illustration of the Webb telescope in space.
© Illustration: NASA GSFC/CIL/Adriana Manrique GutierrezAn artist’s illustration of the Webb telescope in space.

The report was published last week by NASA and the European and Canadian space agencies. It described the telescope’s science performance up to July 12, 2022, the day the telescope’s first images were publicly released, and included an exciting first look of the planet Jupiter as seen by Webb.
According to the analysis, the impact “exceeded prelaunch expectations of damage for a single micrometeoroid.” The Webb team is now studying how to predict and mitigate future impacts.
Micrometeoroids are bits of rock flying through space. When orbiting Earth, these rocks can reach speeds of up to 22,000 miles per hour and are a regular hazard for astronauts, satellites, and spacecraft.
In early June, a NASA release stated that a micrometeoroid impacted one of the Webb telescope’s hexagonal mirrors between May 23 and May 25; the new report estimates the impact actually occurred between May 22 and May 24.
“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,” said Paul Geithner, a technical deputy project manager at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, in a June release.

The Webb telescope’s mirrors were meticulously aligned in order to produce high-resolution images of very faint light sources in the distant universe. The recent report compared ground measurements of the mirror segments’ optical quality to the telescope’s current quality; they found significant error in the C3 segment.
Because the C3 segment is just one of 18 hexagonal mirrors making up the telescope’s primary mirror, the micrometeoroid damage is relatively small on the full telescope level, the report stated.
Despite the damage, the team’s initial assessment indicates that Webb “should meet its optical performance requirements for many years.” Thanks to the telescope’s precise launch, it’s expected to be operational for 20 years and will spend the entirety of its tenure at L2, a point in space about a million miles from Earth.
The Carina Nebula's cosmic cliffs seen in brownish orange below, and the deep blue of space above.
© Image: NASA, ESA, CSA, and STScIThe Carina Nebula's cosmic cliffs seen in brownish orange below, and the deep blue of space above.
A stunning image of the Carina Nebula recently taken by Webb’s NIRCam and MIRI instruments.
The big unknown, the team stated, is the rate of mirror degradation from micrometeoroids; in other words, how many more-harmful-than-expected space particles will hit the $10 billion observatory. At the time of the June statement about the May impact event, the team detected four micrometeoroid strikes that fell within their expectations for such events, but the larger event is cause for concern. If Webb is more susceptible to micrometeoroid impacts than scientists anticipated, its mirrors will degrade earlier than expected.
It’s possible that the team will turn Webb’s optics away from micrometeoroid strikes to protect its mirrors down the line, but for that to happen, the strikes need to be anticipated. Webb was severely delayed here on Earth, but for an observatory that was launched and commissioned without issue, it was only a matter of time before space threw the Webb scientists a curveball.


Don't Tread On Me
Apr 30, 2006
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Yorkville, il
One day we're gonna zoom in on some distant planet about 100 million light years away and see 2 aliens fucking on a surfboard in some red oil ocean of theirs.... When that day comes, it will be glorious.
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