APR 26, 2016 8:20 AM PDT

The Veil is Lifted From James Webb Space Telescope's Primary Mirror

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

In the future, the Hubble Space Telescope, which celebrated its 26-year anniversary for its launch and orbit this week, will soon be superseded by the next big thing – the James Webb Space Telescope.
 
The new space telescope has a primary mirror that is 6.5 meters in diameter, and dwarfs the tiny primary mirror of the Hubble Space Telescope.
 
Despite all the discoveries Hubble has brought to humanity in its service in the last couple of decades, the James Webb Space Telescope is equipped with additional, more powerful technology to see further and clearer than ever before with a wider field of view.
 

The entire bare primary mirror of the JWST has been revealed for the first time.


Technicians have officially peeled off the protective coating of the James Webb Space Telescope’s primary mirror this week at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, exposing the entire completed primary mirror for the first time since its assembly.
 
The mirror pieces, which are made from beryllium and coated in gold, can fold up to give the primary mirror a smaller size footprint and make it easier to transport on a spacecraft into space.
 
At the current stages, the James Webb Space Telescope is nearing assembly, after which it will be tested for the harsh conditions of space and space travel. The BBC reports it’s headed to a testing facility where it’ll be tested with motion and sound to simulate the rocket ride that it’ll experience on its way into space.
 
By testing it beforehand, scientists can ensure it’ll make it through the ride without any damage and ensure that the James Webb Space Telescope provides a long service life in outer space for years of space exploration to come.
 
Once testing is completed, final assembly will take place for more critical parts before it’s ready to launch into orbit around the Earth.
 
As you can imagine, astronomers are just itching to get this hunk of incredible technology into space so we can see what kinds of things can be uncovered with the bigger space telescope.

Source: BBC

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
JUN 12, 2021
Cancer
Using astronomy to image cancer tumors
JUN 12, 2021
Using astronomy to image cancer tumors
In an interdisciplinary breakthrough, a recent study published in Science describes the development of a new platform, d ...
JUN 21, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Scientists Detect Signatures of Life on Earth Remotely
JUN 21, 2021
Scientists Detect Signatures of Life on Earth Remotely
An international team led by researchers from the University of Bern in Switzerland and the National Centre of Competenc ...
JUL 17, 2021
Earth & The Environment
Solar Radio Signals Improve Monitoring of Melting Ice Sheets
JUL 17, 2021
Solar Radio Signals Improve Monitoring of Melting Ice Sheets
Solar radio signals from the sun could provide a cheaper and low-power way of monitoring vast expanses of ice sheets, an ...
AUG 27, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Researchers Model the Titan Moon in a Tube
AUG 27, 2021
Researchers Model the Titan Moon in a Tube
An image of Saturn's moon Titan on November 11, 1980 during Voyager 1's flyby. Courtesy NASA/JPL-CalTech/Kevin M. Gill
SEP 10, 2021
Space & Astronomy
The Future (and Ethics) of Giant Telescopes
SEP 10, 2021
The Future (and Ethics) of Giant Telescopes
The fate of giant telescopes hangs in the balance as this decade comes to an end.
OCT 22, 2021
Health & Medicine
Galactic Cosmic Radiation Could Have Different Effects on Males and Females
OCT 22, 2021
Galactic Cosmic Radiation Could Have Different Effects on Males and Females
As commercial spaceflight becomes readily available, more and more people will have access to space. In decades past, on ...
Loading Comments...