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…
Like new cars, new telescopes come with their own unique smell. Unlike cars, telescopes are delicate enough that this smell can damage the high-precision instruments, killing them with their own outgassing. Here’s how NASA protects fragile space telescopes from themselves.
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.
The James Webb Space Telescope takes carefully packing parts to new extremes: the packaging for the latest shipment weighted more than fifty times the actual part! This is the Space Telescope Transporter for Air Road and Sea, the shipping container for telescopes.
The James Webb Space Telescope is about to be tucked into a massive space simulator as part of its testing to ensure it can survive the harsh orbital environment. The telescope is the next-generation planet-hunter, intended to check exoplanetary atmospheres for signs of life.http://space.io9.com/the-next-gener...
A giant robotic arm practiced hanging silver and gold mirrors on the backbone of the James Webb Space Telescope, then a human engineer carefully checked its work. Eventually, the full telescope will be launched into space, then unfold in a delicate choreography of inverse origami.
When the sunshield for the James Webb Space Telescope underwent deployment testing, it unfolded exactly like it would in space. At least, it did if you ignore the people, cranes, air, warmth, gravity, and conspicuous absence of the rest of the telescope. Even so, it looks really cool, and provides an SPF one million…
Engineers unfolded the James Webb Space Telescope's spine in the world's largest clean room in preparation for decking it with mirrors like a giant, glittering Christmas tree.
Every day we find more exoplanets. With bigger and better telescopes on the horizon, we'll have far more observations of these planets than ever before — and NASA scientists are optimistic we'll discover alien life within decades.
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.
NASA's Kepler mission has been spoiling us with planetary discoveries left and right as of late. Now, researchers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have discovered an entirely new class of planet — they call it a "waterworld," and it might be covered in broiling-hot ice.
Bad puns aside, this is actually pretty cool. NASA has set up two webcams in the cleanroom of Goddard Space Flight Center, where engineers are busy assembling the James Webb Space Telescope — the deep space imaging apparatus that will allow us to see farther into space than ever before.
Yesterday, NASA announced a milestone in the almost 22-year history of its Hubble Space Telescope: The 10,000th refereed scientific paper based on Hubble data has now been published, reinforcing that Hubble is one of the most successful astronomical experiments in human history.