APR 26, 2016 08:20 AM PDT

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

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the Hubble Space Telescope, which celebrated its 26-year anniversary for its launch and orbit this week, will soon be superseded by the next big thing – the James Webb Space Telescope.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 16, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
JUN 16, 2018
I Say Black Holes, You Say Wormholes
In a recent paper in the journal Physical Review D, a group of European physicists...
JUL 08, 2018
Space & Astronomy
JUL 08, 2018
NASA Engineers Install Revolutionary Heat Shield on the Parker Solar Probe
Despite all the things we’ve learned about the Sun over the years, we still have much to learn. Fortunately, NASA plans to send a specially-made spac...
JUL 28, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
JUL 28, 2018
Star Ran Away From Black Hole, Leaving a Part of Its Light Behind
In a recent news conference, scientists from the European Southern Observatory (ESO) announced that their Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile witnessed a c...
JUL 30, 2018
Space & Astronomy
JUL 30, 2018
Terraforming Mars Not Possible With Current Technology, Study Suggests
Mars is a bleak and lifeless place today, at least when compared to Earth’s standards. With that in mind, it’d take significant efforts to make...
SEP 09, 2018
Space & Astronomy
SEP 09, 2018
The End of NASA's Dawn Mission is Rapidly Approaching
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft ventured away from Earth to study other bodies in the Solar System 11 years ago; that’s three years longer than anyone e...
SEP 11, 2018
Space & Astronomy
SEP 11, 2018
Lunar Rock Samples Collected by the Apollo Astronauts May Not Tell the Moon's Entire Story
While some researchers study our planet to learn more about its history and formation, other researchers focus their efforts on alternative bodies in the s...
Loading Comments...