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James Webb telescope countdown to launch and first light

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LanDroid

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James Webb telescope countdown to launch and first light

After extremely long delays, massively over budget, and a last minute scary "incident," the James Webb space telescope (JWST) is set to launch 12/22/21. This instrument is optimized for infrared, which will allow it to see much farther than Hubble. It will be able to see galaxies so far away that they have red shifted out of the visible spectrum. It will also be able to see deeper into atmospheres of exoplanets.

James Webb Space Telescope: An Astronomer on the Team Explains the “First Light Machine”

The JWST will undergo 30 Days of terror as it maneuvers to the L2 Lagrange point, orbiting the sun. Hundreds of processes need to happen sequentially during that journey, with just as many potential points of failure.
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Re: James Webb telescope countdown to launch and first light

How soon after launch will we start seeing images?
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LanDroid

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Re: James Webb telescope countdown to launch and first light

After the launch there's the "30 days of terror" mentioned before as the telescope gets into position about a million miles from earth to orbit the sun. One of the links above describes an extremely detailed check out and calibration lasting 6 months. Sounds like first light from JWST will be about 7 months after launch or around the end of July. I hope there will be teaser images long before then.
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Re: James Webb telescope countdown to launch and first light

Originally targeted to launch in 2007, it has been delayed again, but this time just due to weather. It's now scheduled for Christmas morning.
After more than two decades of development, NASA's next-generation space telescope is on the launch pad. The James Webb Space Telescope is due to launch on Saturday (Dec. 25) during a 32-minute window that opens at 7:20 a.m. EST (1220 GMT). The massive observatory will blast off from Kourou, French Guiana, atop an Ariane 5 rocket operated by European launch provider Arianespace. You can watch launch coverage live at Space.com beginning at 6 a.m. EST (1100 GMT) courtesy of NASA or you can watch directly at the agency's website.

...If the rocket can't make its Saturday launch window, opportunities continue daily through the end of the year.
12/23/21
https://www.space.com/james-webb-space- ... et-rollout
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Re: James Webb telescope countdown to launch and first light

I just watched the launch live. SUCCESS! :clap: :appl: :bananadance:
Let the "Thirty Days Of Terror" begin!
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Re: James Webb telescope countdown to launch and first light

My son and I watched too!
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Re: James Webb telescope countdown to launch and first light

The massive observatory launched today (Dec. 25) from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, at 7:20 a.m. EST (1220 GMT). Just 12.5 hours later, the spacecraft began a vital maneuver on its month-long journey to its future outpost as the observatory executed a 65-minute-long thruster burn that concluded at 8:55 p.m. EST (0155 GMT), according to a statement from NASA.
...According to NASA, this burn, dubbed Mid-Course Correction Burn 1a or MCC1a, was the most important of the three burns the spacecraft will make during its journey to L2, and the only one that needed to be particularly carefully timed.
https://www.space.com/james-webb-space- ... ctory-burn
One less day of terror... :appl:
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Re: James Webb telescope countdown to launch and first light

Here's an 8-minute video called 29 Days on the edge summarizing the extremely complicated actions that must execute flawlessly for JWST to operate. Right about now the instrument is probably passing the moon, speeding to the L2 LaGrange point.



There's more detail in the following article.
Two to three months after launch, for instance, the team will align the primary mirror segments so they act as a single light-collecting surface. This will be painstaking and time-consuming work, for the mirror has to be perfect to an accuracy of 150 nanometers. (For perspective: A sheet of paper is about 100,000 nanometers thick.)

"One of our scientists calculated that we move those mirrors literally slower than grass grows as we're lining them up so incredibly precisely," Webb Deputy Senior Project Scientist Jonathan Gardner, of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, told Space.com earlier this month.

12/26/21
https://www.space.com/nasa-james-webb-s ... next-steps
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Re: James Webb telescope countdown to launch and first light

Here's a status page, showing video simulations of the latest activity, temperatures from various spots including the mirrors, etc. At this point the hot side averages +82F. The mirrors on the cold side are still quite warm at -49F but I expect will drop quickly once the sunshield is fully deployed during the next few days. Not sure how cold they will get, possibly close to absolute zero. Oh, and it currently is at 47% of the way to the final destination.

https://webb.nasa.gov/content/webbLaunc ... sWebb.html
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Re: James Webb telescope countdown to launch and first light

The sunshield has been opened. In the next few days the five layers will be tensioned and separated for max heat shielding. The temperature of the mirrors has dropped from -49F in previous post to -177F currently. Deploying mirrors into final configuration is next. The telescope is 61% of the distance to the final destination.
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Re: James Webb telescope countdown to launch and first light

Sunshield separation and tensioning is complete. Here's a 6 second sped up demo of that activity. Mirror temp is -205F on the way down to -394F. Absolute zero is -459.57F.

Now to unfurl those beautiful gold mirrors... :up:
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Re: James Webb telescope countdown to launch and first light

That's a bit chilly. These images are going to be amazing.
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LanDroid

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Re: James Webb telescope countdown to launch and first light

Large primary mirror fully deployed a few minutes ago, both "wings" in place.
Mirror temp is -278F.
74% of the way to final destination.
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Re: James Webb telescope countdown to launch and first light

NASA’s Webb Reaches Alignment Milestone, Optics Working Successfully

Following the completion of critical mirror alignment steps, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope team expects that Webb’s optical performance will be able to meet or exceed the science goals the observatory was built to achieve. O n March 11, the Webb team completed the stage of alignment known as “fine phasing.” At this key stage in the commissioning of Webb’s Optical Telescope Element, every optical parameter that has been checked and tested is performing at, or above, expectations. The team also found no critical issues and no measurable contamination or blockages to Webb’s optical path. The observatory is able to successfully gather light from distant objects and deliver it to its instruments without issue.

At this stage of Webb’s mirror alignment, known as “fine phasing,” each of the primary mirror segments have been adjusted to produce one unified image of the same star using only the NIRCam instrument. This image of the star, which is called 2MASS J17554042+6551277, uses a red filter to optimize visual contrast.

Although there are months to go before Webb ultimately delivers its new view of the cosmos, achieving this milestone means the team is confident that Webb’s first-of-its-kind optical system is working as well as possible.

3/16/22
https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa ... ccessfully
Obviously that is great news! However, that image of the star seems bogus to my semi-educated, but non-professional eye. :shock: I do not think the "spikes" shown in the image are natural. One can produce those spikes when photographing street lights, reflections, stars, etc. with a filter that essentially places a window screen right in front of the lense to create that phenomenon. I hope Nasa didn't doctor this image to make it look cooler.

Image
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Re: James Webb telescope countdown to launch and first light

I agree. The image has probably been enhanced.
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Re: James Webb telescope countdown to launch and first light

I don’t know whether this is the correct place to post this or even if anyone will be interested but I just been to a lecture at our local ‘University of the Third Age’. It’s for oldies.

Well, today it was ‘The History of Jodrell Bank’ which
Is here in Cheshire UK. The Lecturer was a professor who had worked at Jodrell Bank since the 1960s and he still works there but now he doesn’t get paid… :-D

Gosh, it was wonderful. He showed us Quazars, and Pulsars and how black holes happen and how immense the Milky Way is and how immenser is the Andromeda!!

We don’t matter at all folks…we are not important and with the present state of the world, I find that very comforting.

Love 💕 Pen
Only those become weary of angling who bring nothing to it but the idea of catching fish.

He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world is mad....

Rafael Sabatini
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Re: James Webb telescope countdown to launch and first light

First Images From NASA’s Webb Space Telescope Coming Soon
NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, a partnership with ESA (European Space Agency) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), will release its first full-color images and spectroscopic data on July 12, 2022.
https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/20 ... oming-soon
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Re: James Webb telescope countdown to launch and first light

2 to 20 TRILLION galaxies in the observable universe??? The James Webb Space Telescope might refine those estimates.
There are more galaxies in the Universe than even Carl Sagan ever imagined
If you take the deepest image ever created of the distant Universe, the Hubble eXtreme Deep Field, and extrapolate over the whole sky, you'd estimate there were ~170 billion galaxies in the observable Universe.

...A theoretical calculation from a few years ago — the first to account for galaxies too small, faint, and distant to be seen — put the estimate far higher: at 2 trillion. But even that estimate is too low. There ought to be at least 6 trillion, and perhaps more like 20 trillion, galaxies, if we’re ever able to count them all.

...With the advent of the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope, we might finally get the observational confirmation of these faint, distant, early-type galaxies that we know must be out there. The Universe, no matter how we conceive or misconceive of it, cannot hide its truths when faced with superior data.

Ethan Siegel 6/22/2022
https://bigthink.com/starts-with-a-bang ... -universe/
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