Countdown to rewriting the textbooks again - JWST launch imminent

Alignment is complete and instruments are coming up to speed! Yay!!

3 Likes
6 Likes

Awesomeness defined.
Thanks Beef!

Chris is a great science/astronomy content provider and his channel is well worth watching. Also he is a Grateful Dead fan so he’s got that going for him as well!

There are a few other really informative and interesting channels out there in this category. The one caveat is that they can occasionally become extremely dense to comprehend for novices such as myself to really appreciate and follow along with.

Anton Petrov’s video’s are quite informative and not very difficult to keep up with.

Matt’s video’s are really for those who are fluent in this subject matter [I’m not]. He will deep dive into the university physics of the discussion which can be mind numbing to follow. [Reading Dr. Green’s book ‘The Elegant Universe’, was the best I could do]. I’m always left feeling amazed, confused and anxiously awaiting the next big discovery.

2 Likes

I like Anton Petrov’s videos

1 Like

Getting closer!

A nice side to side comparison of a mid-IR image of the LMC from Spitzer (also known as SIRTF) with JWST:

Space telescope in home stretch of tests; early pics impress (msn.com)

Not only can a wealth of unresolved detail now be seen, the diffraction spikes caused by the JWST secondary support are cleanly resolved. I would expect the science images will be processed to largely remove those diffraction artifacts. No doubt some modeling was done from ground testing, but the science team is likely working on refining that for post-processing of the raw images. There is still a lot of work ahead for the ops folks at STSCI. Can barely wait to see the final result.

1 Like

Me too. Having lived thru getting our hineys handed to us by Sputnik to landing on the moon in a jalopy to looking at the beginning of time with JWST during my lifetime is a wonderful feeling.

1 Like

Just came across this:

5 Likes

The potential to revolutionize our understanding of the interstellar medium (which is where the ‘dark’ or ‘missing’ mass must be) is enormous. The reason NASA choose to baseline infrared for JWST is observation in IR penetrates the embedded dust in the interstellar medium that obscures critical detail in visible imagery. HST instruments are restricted to near-UV to near-IR (barely, up to the cutoff of silicon in the HST detectors). Observation in the IR also allows us to look back in time via study of high redshift objects.The beauty of all this is the huge catalog of high-resolution optical imagery from HST is going to be complementary to, not redundant with, JWST. So much of the cutting edge science to be done depends on being able to compare multi-spectral images of comparable quality and resolution. The textbooks are likely going to continue to be rewritten by the mission after I’m gone. I can’t say enough about the foresight behind the space-based science roadmap NASA developed that led to JWST.

4 Likes

Been interested in this stuff for around a half century, and it is perhaps the most mind boggling thing in my lifetime to find that we don’t know what the vast majority of the stuff is out there. That what we have (understandably) focused on - the lit up bits - are a pittance.

3 Likes

Oooops sorry deleted a…duplicate of badbeef’s previous post

With yesterday’s image release of the black hole in the center of our galaxy, Sagittarius A*, the JWT will be turning it’s eyes towards the center of the Milky Way, to observe in more precise detail the star filled environment surrounding the massive black hole.
I…am…psyched!
# Black hole: First picture of Milky Way monster

The proposals related to this upcoming event.

3 Likes

Saw that very cool press release yesterday. Was tempted to start a new thread. For those who aren’t familiar with the EHT project, the image you’re seeing is actually a false color radio telescope observation. EHT is a prime example of very-long baseline radio astronomy. It combines data from a network of radio dishes distributed across the planet. That process produces radio astronomy data with spatial resolution impossible to achieve with any single telescope. There are all kinds of technologies involved, including SOTA low noise receivers, amplifiers and timing is especially important. When combining data from observatories that could be separated by thousands of miles, correlating that data in time is critical. All of these observatories are equipped with atomic clocks to tag data with the accuracy sufficient to ensure the benefit of combining the data is realized. It’s not a new technique, but this application of it sure is.
Fascinating.

4 Likes

It might not be a great time for modern society but it sure is a wonderful time for modern space exploration.

2 Likes

You said it! :+1:

1 Like

Total Lunar Eclipse starting people! (in the US)

2 Likes

Will check it out now. Thanks!

Thanks beef…