The James Webb Space Telescope construction team doesn’t waste time! After hitting the halfway-point in December, they’re now up to 12 of 18 mirrors installed. Check out the livestream from the cleanroom for building this fantastic telescope now, or forever hold your peace!
What better way to spend the holidays than watching NASA technicians scurry around assembling mirror segments on the James Webb Space Telescope? With the 9th of 18 segments installed last week, we’re that much closer to hunting for signs of life on alien worlds and making our universe a little less lonely.
NASA has announced that they’ve installed the first of the James Webb Space Telescope’s mirrors. The part is one of eighteen that will eventually be bolted to the satellite, which is set to launch in 2018.
When it launches in October 2018, the James Webb Space Telescope will become the largest optical telescope in space. With its 6.5 meter wide mirror, it will gather infrared light from up to 13.5 billion light years away, giving astronomers a look at the earliest moments of the universe. But the mirror is too big to…
The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), which will be “in many ways a hundred times” more capable than Hubble, isn’t launching until 2018, but already astrophysicists are thinking about its successor. They’re calling it the High Definition Space Telescope (HDST). That’s it on the far right, towering over both its…
The James Webb Space Telescope is the most powerful space telescope ever built, and its mirrors must be kept squeaky clean. Any debris, even tiny flecks of dust, could impact its science. Ergo, “snow cleaning:” the use of carbon dioxide snow to clean the mirrors thoroughly yet gently.
Here are two engineers practicing “snow cleaning” on a test telescope mirror for the James Webb Space Telescope. I’m not exaggerating when I say this is the coolest way to dust off any surface without scratching it.
When you build an amazing spacecraft like NASA's James Webb Space Telescope, you have to be methodical—and just look how neatly organized their workspace is. This photo was taken a few weeks ago at Northrop Grumman, where the pathfinder backplane of the telescope was assembled. It will soon head to NASA Johnson for…
NASA has finished and stacked the Sunshield for the Webb Space Telescope and it's now getting ready to test it. Look at this huge thing. That's enough tinfoil to cover a roasted chicken— if the chicken was the size of Tyrannosaurus Rex. According to NASA, it provides the equivalent of a 1,000,000 Sun Protection Factor.
The biggest building boom in the history of astronomy is upon us. In Chile and Hawaii and in space, astronomers are getting powerful telescopes that dwarf the current state-of-the-art instruments. When the mountain blasting and the mirror polishing are all done, we will have the clearest and most detailed views of…
Remember chlorofluorocarbons, aka CFCs? The big, bad ozone-depleting pollutant 1) sticks around for tens of thousands of years and 2) is almost entirely man-made. That means if extraterrestrial life are anything like us, according to astrophysicists at Harvard, CFCs could be a key to finding aliens.
A team of astrobiologists has described a new method of detecting not just water, but life, on distant worlds. There's just one problem – the telescope we need to do it won't be on line until 2018.
"Without hyperbole, it is true that i don't think there has ever been on one stage an assembly of science storytellers and communicators like this," said theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss of the panelists assembled for the debate featured here. We're inclined to agree with him.
Astronomers working with the Hubble Space Telescope have just released the most detailed view of the early Universe ever captured. It's called the eXtreme Deep Field, or XDF for short. The image combines over ten years' worth of photographs by Hubble. It required 2-million seconds of exposure time to produce, and…
In 2018, the James Webb Space Telescope will become one of the greatest tools in humanity's quest to understand the cosmos. Now, after eight years, the technology comprising the heart and soul of the telescope — an ultra-sophisticated beryllium mirror system — is complete.
NASA researchers have detected the faint glow of what they believe to be the first stars and galaxies to form in the aftermath of the Big Bang — and it's positively stunning. If the team's findings are correct, they could offer valuable insight into the nature of the Universe's very first objects.
You are looking at the largest piece of tin foil in the planet, one of the James Webb Space Telescope's sunshield membranes. There will be five of these membranes, which will keep its core at 50 Kelvin (-369.67F or -223.15C).