A momentous moment in space exploration

They are getting ready to launch the “James Webb Space Telescope” any day now. It will be much more powerful than the Hubble Space Telescope, and it will be much farther out - almost a million miles out. This helps protect it from different heat sources, like the earth, the moon, and other planets. It is incredibly sensitive to heat. It could see the heat from a honey bee at a distance from the earth to the moon. It is so big that they have to fold it up to fit on its launch vehicle, and unfolding it will be a very difficult task. It will take weeks for them to do it. They’re keeping quiet about it in the press, probably because they don’t want people to get their hopes up and then be let down. It is so far away from earth that there is no way they could fix it if it something went wrong.


That’s really interesting. I’d never heard of it. Thanks @crimby

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Interesting! Where did you hear about this?

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I first got wind of it on the internet. Look it up. You can find the pertinent information.

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Voyager 1 is way out in the heliosheath.


I wonder how they managed that heat detection? I was interested in thermal imaging for a while and it’s not something we humans are very good at. Heat is low entropy, so it’s tricky to convert it back into a higher entropy form of energy like electricity. Not impossible, just not easy. Maybe they just made the sensor really big?

The mirror on this thing is much bigger than the Hubble’s. They have to fold it up into segments for it to fit inside the mission capsule. It will be a delicate job unfolding it. Also, it has shades to block out radiation from the sun so it can stay really cold. Beyond that, I don’t know.

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