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44 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

It's remarkable that this thing is so delicate or sensitive that even deep space isn't cold enough for it to work properly.

It's a vacuum. Heat has to be radiated away. You know the fan on your car radiator or your computer CPU? They are there for a reason and they wouldn't work so well in a vacuum. 

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Latest update from Chris -  Webb Update It has been a while since I provided an update. Things are going…great! The past couple of weeks have been mostly devoted to aligning the prima

The first picture taken by the Webb telescope was just released

Webb Update This is a short one today. Yesterday the midbooms (arms sticking out on either side) were successfully deployed meaning all four corners of the sunshield assembly are in place and the

Posted Images

5 minutes ago, valis said:

It's a vacuum. Heat has to be radiated away. You know the fan on your car radiator or your computer CPU? They are there for a reason and they wouldn't work so well in a vacuum. 

I don't understand why they just don't wait for night...

 

 

;)

ps: Thanks for the updates!  

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4 minutes ago, Charlie Foxtrot said:

I don't understand why they just don't wait for night...

Yeah, like the Polish mission to land astronauts on the Sun!

(Sorry, Ed)

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8 minutes ago, valis said:

Yeah, like the Polish mission to land astronauts on the Sun!

(Sorry, Ed)

Had an engineer at work question why the sun-grazing Parker Solar Probe just didn't go at night.

If he was joking, that would've have been the first time on record he's exhibited anything even remotely close to a sense of humor.   

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23 hours ago, IStream said:

 My business partner sent me this message the day Webb launched: "I actually woke up at 4am to watch the launch.  It needed me to will it to not explode on the launchpad."

Please thank him for all of us.  It obviously worked!

[edit: "Thank him or her." -- Apparently I'm a sexist]

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Webb Update
I have this weekend off so this will be the get-ahead post. The ADIR deployed today…very exciting 20 seconds. Tomorrow and Saturday we fold each of the Primary Mirror Backplane Assembly (PMBA, pronounced Pim-buh) mirror wings forward to complete the 18 segments of the primary mirror. And that’s it for major deployments, the telescope will be unfolded into its flight configuration. All the planning and hype in the review mirror. The next major step will be to undock each of the 18 segments from their launch locks. And then the big flick is a couple of months of cooling down and getting the science instruments running so we can use images from them to guide aligning the mirror segments into a final single mirror. The updates will start slowing down but as always, stay tuned and enjoy the ride.
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3 hours ago, Charlie Foxtrot said:

Had an engineer at work question why the sun-grazing Parker Solar Probe just didn't go at night.

Someone once remarked on that illustration of the earth with all the cities lit up that it was amazing the they had found a night when the entire world was cloudless all at once….  Head scratcher on a couple levels.

 

I’ll also extend my thanks for the updates 

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6 hours ago, Grande Mastere Dreade said:

and ground based optics can fill that niche with adaptive optics... 

even if you could get a visible image of a 13+billion light year away object, what are you going to see? the resolution won't be high enough to discern any details

Preaching to the choir here, bro.

That's why I like an interferometer beyond the moon's orbit ... it's close enough to place and access, and by using the Moon as a weak absorber, we can start to gather some basic knowledge about the actual stuff that saturates the universe, neutrinos, instead of the sporadic nuggets of mass in stars and planets that barely even make up 1% by volume.

Our current attempts to look at galaxy, stars and exoplanets while ignoring the neutrino field is like trying to understand the ocean by studying a handful of signal buoys. 

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52 minutes ago, Bus Driver said:
Webb Update
I have this weekend off so this will be the get-ahead post. The ADIR deployed today…very exciting 20 seconds. Tomorrow and Saturday we fold each of the Primary Mirror Backplane Assembly (PMBA, pronounced Pim-buh) mirror wings forward to complete the 18 segments of the primary mirror. And that’s it for major deployments, the telescope will be unfolded into its flight configuration. All the planning and hype in the review mirror. The next major step will be to undock each of the 18 segments from their launch locks. And then the big flick is a couple of months of cooling down and getting the science instruments running so we can use images from them to guide aligning the mirror segments into a final single mirror. The updates will start slowing down but as always, stay tuned and enjoy the ride.

Sounds like it's not going to need glasses like Hubble. :D

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What If

After All This

People start to catch on to the Cycles that happen REGARDLESS of AnyThing Humans can do ??

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53 minutes ago, DA-WOODY said:

What If

After All This

People start to catch on to the Cycles that happen REGARDLESS of AnyThing Humans can do ??

Someone’s been partaking of hallucinogens….

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22 hours ago, Grande Mastere Dreade said:

and ground based optics can fill that niche with adaptive optics... 

even if you could get a visible image of a 13+billion light year away object, what are you going to see? the resolution won't be high enough to discern any details

if you like the magazine stuff, this guy,  Jason Ware from our astronomy club, has been published a couple hundred times

 

http://www.galaxyphoto.com/

 

 

 

jw_apogee_ACF14_N4565.jpg

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10 hours ago, Raz'r said:

Someone’s been partaking of hallucinogens….

What if what DaWoody has some validity here, just possiblily it's so much bigger than just political bullshit and ant like relatively.

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In BD's absence: I just saw that the JWST's port mirror wing has successfully deployed.  

https://www.jwst.nasa.gov/content/webbLaunch/whereIsWebb.html?units=english

Go The Webb!

And yesterday, SpaceX threw another 49 StarLink satellites into orbit and aced the landing. Interesting, as they used a novel southeasterly trajectory in order to give the landing barge and the faring recovery ship better weather, fair winds and following seas. ;) After the prior landing up the coast, their brandy-new Falcon 9 got knocked about in the rough seas, with several engine nozzles and all four landing legs receiving damage. 

I'm waiting for my StarLink antenna. Several homes have installed their's and are getting almost 300 meg downloads and 15 up, with acceptable availability. At a hundy a month (initial), that puts the shitty ATT "up to" 10 megs (realistically 1-3 megs) service all to shame.            

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Ha!  Just saw my friend Chis posted the same. Thanks, Charlie. 
 

Webb Update

The first of two primary mirror wings has been successful deployed and latched. Last major deployment tomorrow with the final wing. 

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2 hours ago, Charlie Foxtrot said:

 

Sorry doooooood, I didn't mean to poach; I thought you or your buddy were taking the weekend off.

Love the updates.

No worries.  I'm glad others are enjoying this as much as I am.

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25 minutes ago, Bus Driver said:

No worries.  I'm glad others are enjoying this as much as I am.

Buddy of mine works for JPL on the Mars Helicopter program. I'll post his next insider report here if I may.

   

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8 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

49 satellites on one launch?

They must make them the size of grapefruit now.

Each Starlink satellite weight about 500 lbs.  Estimated stowed dimensions are  3.2 x 1.6 x 0.2 meters. Here's a photo of a 50-starlink stack as carried by a Falcon 9:

D6VKKwiUUAABZ_p.jpg

Pretty amazing!

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8 minutes ago, Charlie Foxtrot said:

Buddy of mine works for JPL on the Mars Helicopter program. I'll post his next insider report here if I may.

   

That'd be great.

 

I live about a mile from STScI.  Often pass it on walks/runs and have several friends who work there.

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Good news.

Lots of sphincters relaxing now I'll bet.

Can't wait for the pics of the beginning of time.

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On 1/6/2022 at 5:01 PM, Grande Mastere Dreade said:

and ground based optics can fill that niche with adaptive optics... 

even if you could get a visible image of a 13+billion light year away object, what are you going to see? the resolution won't be high enough to discern any details

This photo is a sequel to the original "Hubble Ultra Deep Field," a picture the Hubble Space Telescope took in 2003 and 2004 that collected light over many hours to reveal thousands of distant galaxies in what was the deepest view of the universe so far. The XDF goes even farther, peering back 13.2 billion years into the universe's past!

https://www.space.com/17755-farthest-universe-view-hubble-space-telescope.html

#.jpg

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54 minutes ago, dfw_sailor said:

Not wanting to take away anyone's thunder, but Arianne did such a precise launch they now estimate remaining fuel on the telescope is now 20 years, double the planned 10 years !!!!!!!

This is indeed great news, but how much variability is there in a typical orbital insertion?  I suppose it doesn't take much error to have a big effect when you can re-purpose the initial relocation fuel allotment for the ongoing fine adjustments.

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54 minutes ago, valis said:

This is indeed great news, but how much variability is there in a typical orbital insertion?  I suppose it doesn't take much error to have a big effect when you can re-purpose the initial relocation fuel allotment for the ongoing fine adjustments.

Apparently the rocket received the absolute best test result components from the assembly line, delivering above spec lb/thrust ratio. 

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From Chris -

There are a number of questions that keep getting repeated on a Facebook JWST group. I figured when I answer them there, I'll post them here for you as well.

Webb Workings: Where Webb can Look, Where it Can't
====================================
Let's start by figuring out where JWST "lives." Draw a line from the center of the sun and out through the center of the earth. Keep going another 1.5 million kilometers (1 million miles) and you'll reach L2, the location in space that JWST is orbiting.

Imagine yourself standing on the equator at midnight with that line going up through your bottom and out of your head. JWST is up above you. Now rotate around looking at a wide band of the sky above the horizon. That part of the sky is what JWST can see on that day of the year. You are limited to that band of the sky because the earth blocks your view in the direction of the sun (which at midnight is directly behind the earth). Similarly, JWST is also oriented with its "feet" toward the sun with the sunshield, worn like a ballerina's tutu, blocking its view in that direction. I'm limiting the view above your head simply by saying you cannot look that way. Webb also cannot peer too high because that would require tilting the spacecraft so much that sunlight would get past the sunshield and hit the telescope (which would kill it). However, after a number of weeks the stuff above your head will have moved far enough west that it will then be visible toward the horizon (but the stuff that had been visible to the east will now be above your head so no longer visible).

With each passing night you and Webb can both see a bit more of the sky to the east while the same amount of sky will have been lost to the west because both you and Webb are orbiting the sun (Webb is orbiting L2 which is itself orbiting the sun). In six months you'll be looking at the stuff on the opposite side of the sun, and after a year you'll be back where you started. So over a full year the entire sky will have been visible in swaths.  

It is worth noting that the stuff above the horizon to both the north and the south are always visible throughout the year because the earth only orbits the sun in the east/west plane. Those always visible regions of the sky are called the Continuous Viewing Zones (CVZ) and are very popular because time can be scheduled to look at targets there on any day of the year.

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Just to be pedantic and a pain in the ass, actually you can see the whole sky in half a year, not a full year.

As you said, what is in the North and the South can be seen all year round. And what you saw 6 months ago in the East will show up again, but in the West... and vice-versa.

 

BD, thanks for all the posting and links. This is exciting stuff for the nerd in me...

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3 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

20 years from now I suspect they will have developed new techniques that will permit refuelling it.

Yes, but I guess they will have devised a betterer telescope, so they will want to launch new hardware, instead of refuelling old hardware...

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On 1/10/2022 at 7:34 PM, Laurent said:

Yes, but I guess they will have devised a betterer telescope, so they will want to launch new hardware, instead of refuelling old hardware...

Considering how long it took to get the Webb done, twenty years might not be enough time to do it better.

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6 minutes ago, ropetrick said:

Considering how long it took to get the Webb done, twenty years might not be enough time to do it better.

 

How many years has Hubble kept working, long after its expected expiration date??

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2 hours ago, billy backstay said:

How many years has Hubble kept working, long after its expected expiration date??

IIRC it's at about double the original expectation.

I remember after they put glasses on the Hubble how mind numbing the images were compared to the earth bound images.

And the Webb is supposed to be that much better again.

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7 hours ago, billy backstay said:

 

How many years has Hubble kept working, long after its expected expiration date??

Just for you billy; it took so long to build the Webb Telescope that twenty years will not be enough time to build a better performing replacement.

Often, NASA hardware (with the operators and engineers help) keep operating much longer than predicted.

I hope that will be the case with Webb.

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@Bus Driver @valisand others.

I don't know a lot about astrophysics, there is just too much to learn in this world.

I really appreciate the information you guys are posting.  While I don't understand a good part of it, it's just fascinating and amazing stuff.

Thanks!

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4 hours ago, Ed Lada said:

@Bus Driver @valis

I don't know a lot about astrophysics, there is just too much to learn in this world.

Since human knowledge doubles in a matter of months now - and that is accelerating - I doubt anyone can keep up. :D

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5 hours ago, ropetrick said:

Just for you billy; it took so long to build the Webb Telescope that twenty years will not be enough time to build a better performing replacement.

Often, NASA hardware (with the operators and engineers help) keep operating much longer than predicted.

I hope that will be the case with Webb.

more telescopes on the way ....   there's the Nancy Grace Roman space telescope ,   then there's the Decadal Survey scope,  not named , but dubbed the super hubble..

more described here

https://www.universetoday.com/139461/what-comes-after-james-webb-and-wfirst-four-amazing-future-space-telescopes/

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1 hour ago, SloopJonB said:

Since human knowledge doubles in a matter of months now - and that is accelerating - I doubt anyone can keep up. :D

I don't remember the exact time, but at some point in the early Middle ages it was still possible for one person to know pretty much all of human knowledge to that point.

Or so I was told.

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  • 2 weeks later...

From Chris -

Webb Update

I’ve been offline for a while. I’ve been working 13 hour night shifts and my normal day job also was getting busy resulting in long hours including sleeping several times on my office floor. So sorry for going quiet but I’m back and rested now.

I left you with the observatory fully deployed. What a milestone and kudos to the Northrop Grumman deployment team for making something that could have gone wrong in so may ways look soooo easy. Since then we have deployed the 18 primary mirror hexagonal segments and the secondary mirror (on the tripod in front of the main mirror) off of their launch mounts. Each mirror has three motors on the back that can move the mirror in piston (back and forth), tip, and tilt. The segments were pulled back tight against the main structure with little pegs fitting into receivers to prevent the mirrors from moving around when the vehicle was shaking during launch. The week long mirror deployment involved running the motors to push each mirror out. We jumped from mirror to mirror doing each one only a bit at a time to prevent any spot from getting too warm. To get extremely high precision positioning the motors move incredibly slow resulting in the deployments moving about the speed that grass grows. We have graphical bar indicators showing progress on each mirror and as they filled in with motion, instead of the normal colored bar getting larger it was actually images of grass getting longer. To make the point, the optics team doing the deployments planted chia seeds on a growth medium in the shape of the primary mirror assembly the day we started. A week later when the mirror was deployed by 1.2 mm, the height of the chia plant was also 1.2 mm.  

Today is our final mid-course correction burn (MCC-2) to place JWST into orbit about Lagrange Point 2 (L2) about a million miles (1.5 MKm) away from earth and inline with the sun. Think of L2 as a topological map of the sun and earth gravitational fields that form a saddle shape in space. We’ll always be on the sun side of the saddle where we use thrusters to push up the saddle, slide back down for three weeks, and then thrust up again (station-keeping). The vehicle has two sets of large SCAT thrusters that can be seen in the linked photo. Inside the big ring on the bottom there are two obvious cylinders. Those are the pair of thrusters that were used after launch to give us enough velocity to get to L2. Once the observatory was deployed the center of mass had changed so we can never plan to use that pair again. Now we are using the second set aligned with the new center of mass that can be seen on the right side of the spacecraft that look like two little rocket nozzles (which is what they are).

The MCC-2 burn is scheduled for 2:00 EST this afternoon. Enjoy the ride…image.thumb.png.df8c08ed39d0a803cce7a8aa2e399761.png

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3 hours ago, Bus Driver said:

Each mirror has three motors on the back that can move the mirror in piston (back and forth), tip, and tilt. The segments were pulled back tight against the main structure with little pegs fitting into receivers to prevent the mirrors from moving around

So nothing to go wrong. Sheesh. But the good news is that you could probably lose a mirror and not affect the image too much with 17 more working properly.

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2 minutes ago, Zonker said:

So nothing to go wrong. Sheesh. But the good news is that you could probably lose a mirror and not affect the image too much with 17 more working properly.

Really?        How does your V-8 engine run with 17 out of eighteen valves working.

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25 minutes ago, ropetrick said:

Really?        How does your V-8 engine run with 17 out of eighteen valves working.

It doesn't work like that.  You can obscure a good-sized area of a telescope's regular parabolic reflector (or lens) and the only effect will be a slight reduction of light-gathering sensitivity, and perhaps some minor fringing.  If a bad sector of the Webb reflector can be oriented so it points away from the detector area then it's not going to cause a major problem.  However, if it fails so that it's only slightly out of alignment that will be a bigger problem.

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Lensrental blog. They put 3/8" (~10mm) pieces of Post It notes on the front of a lens before they could see an effect. (People were complaining about renting lenses with dust inside them). The front element of the lens is 72mm for scale.

The takeaway - a wee bit of dust on your camera lens should be ignored. And if 1/18 of your billion $ telescope ain't pointing the right way, the effect will likely be similar.

 

https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2011/08/the-apocalypse-of-lens-dust/

image.png.9fd6e38de2b69886fcf8946987cb5d46.png

 

Let’s Try Something Worse

Well, that was the dustiest lens we could find and it wasn’t very dramatic. So we started trying more dramatic things. Blowing dust onto lenses, putting dots of marker ink on the element – nothing really showed up. Finally we found something that would show up: pieces of sticky notes about 3/8 inch in diameter. So here’s the takeaway message: if the dust is much smaller than the pieces of sticky note on the front element of the lens below, chances are pretty much 100% you can’t see them.

 

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Today, Webb entered It's orbit around LaGrange point 2, or L2. That's about a million miles (1.6.km) away. 

For the next 20 years it will stay there and take photos of "stuff" created up to 13.4 billion years ago.

It will be really cool to see these photos.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The latest from my friend, Chris - 

Webb Update
The last update finished with the 18 primary mirror segments in their starting positions. For the telescope to work properly, those mirrors need to be aligned with each other down to nanometers (billionths of a meter) so that when a wave of light hits the mirrors, it bounces off looking like the same wave that came in. If the mirrors are not aligned, the wave gets distorted and the result would not represent whatever it is we’re looking at. The only way to align the mirrors is by taking images with the science instruments and by looking at all the bad looking results, figure out which mirror(s) are causing which problems and tweaking things into place. Since light hitting any particular part of the detector could be coming from any of the segments at this point, it is a very complex job to figure out which segment to start tweaking but we have a team that has been planning for this for years. I suspect they’ll get it figured out way faster than I can even imagine it.
All of the science instruments are powered on now meaning we have a fully functioning observatory. The first few weeks were deployments and getting all the fundamental spacecraft systems working such as attitude control, communications, etc. Then the mirror. And now the science instruments. Shortly we’ll start the process of taking a background image of the sky just to see how sensitive the main camera is because we are still above 100K instead of the target temperature of 40K as we continue to passively cool down. After that background image we’ll point at a star in the Big Dipper as our first target image. Because the mirrors are not aligned, we actually expect each segment to cast an independent image of the star onto the detector meaning we’ll actually see the same star 18 times in one image. The eventual goal is to get everything aligned so all 18 segments will overlap making a single image of the sky so we’ll see each star just once (but with much more data behind it). If NASA decides to release any of these engineering images, remember that we currently have 18 distorted mirrors so it won’t look anything like a science image. Just seeing something that looks like stuff in a night sky will be a huge step forward.
Stay tuned… and enjoy the ride
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Yo @Bus Driver, which is the best JWST FB group to be joining?? There are more than one, and I would like to join one that may have some actual scientists involved with the project posting..like which one has JWST facts and less BS.

Thanks, HB

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HB, to be honest, I don't know.  I am posting stuff shared by a personal friend.  I can ask him.

In the meantime, he just shared this - 

Webb Update
Yesterday we took our first engineering images. While optically challenged due to each mirror segment currently enjoying its own pointing on the sky, focus (sometimes lack thereof), thermal noise, aberration, and assorted other characteristics the overall picture is amazingly close to the simulations and in a word… stunning. This is from an engineering perspective and nothing like the beautiful Hubble images we’re used to seeing which explains the reluctance to release them (too many people with public followings broadcasting conclusions without taking time to understand what they’re looking at). So we have a configured telescope that can be properly pointed and photons making pictures on the main camera, NIRCam. That is a historic day. This is the start of a months long process of aligning the mirrors and calibrating the science instruments.
The instrument being used for the alignment images is NIRCam. It is actually two identical camera modules mounted back-to-back. Both are used simultaneously but there are two for redundancy. (I don’t do astronomy or optics so take the following with a grain of salt) When measuring the size of astronomical objects it is common to use degrees, arcminutes, and arcseconds. A complete circle around the sky is 360 degrees, each degree has 60 arcminutes, and each arcminute is divided into 60 arcseconds. The moon is a relatively large object, and when viewed from the earth is about 30 arcminutes wide. NIRCam views a patch of sky that is 5 arcminutes by 2 arcminutes so it would take 5 side-by-side NIRCam images to cover the width of the moon (if JWST were on the earth). Each NIRCam module has a 2x2 array of four short wavelength channel detectors (less red) and a single long wavelength (more red) channel detector that see the exact patch of sky. This is because a single beam of light enters the instrument and then passed through a beam splitter that sends the more red light toward the single detector, and the less red light toward the four detector array. Same light, just split into two paths.
The detectors themselves are basically identical except for subtle differences in the wavelength of light they are sensitive to. Like all digital cameras, they are a dense grid of light sensitive spots. In this case the grids are 2040 by 2040 pixels, and each pixel is topped by a HgCdTe (Mercury/Cadmium/Telluride) bump of material that is sensitive to infrared photons. When a photon hits the material it causes an electron to jump to an excited state. This occurs repeatedly during an exposure causing an accumulation of electrons called “charge.” When the pixel is read out after an exposure, the amount of charge determines how “bright” the pixel was. To get color it is necessary to take the same image three times, once each with a “red”, “green”, and “blue” filter in place before overlaying the three images to get a full color photo. The colors are in quotes because JWST operates in the infrared so the filters aren’t actually those colors that are used at optical (human) wavelengths, but the principle is the same (Actually, I’m assuming that. Since JWST is brand new I haven’t worked with any of the outputs yet. As I said, optics aren’t my thing).
The next step in mirror alignment is to find a target star. That takes a bit of searching a patch of sky because the star trackers that tell us how the spacecraft is pointed are way down on the spacecraft bus on the sun side. They tell us how the box on the bottom is oriented. But the telescope is mounted on top of a tall tower that we deployed that is way up away from the star trackers so we need to find a known object (star) to know how the telescope pointing relates to the spacecraft pointing. Once we know that, then we’ll always know it making finding stuff easier going forward. Once we find that star, we’ll move the telescope around until we see that star 18 times on a single NIRCam image meaning each mirror segment in the primary mirror can see the star. Then we start the process of identifying which segment belongs to which image, and tipping the segments appropriately so all are imaging the star to the same point. All that is starting this week.
And I thought this was going to be a quick post…
Stay tuned… and enjoy the ride
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3 hours ago, Bus Driver said:
 (too many people with public followings broadcasting conclusions without taking time to understand what they’re looking at).

Another case of the loudmouthed stupids causing negative consequences for the intelligent among us.

Maybe what we need is IQ testing before being able to post on the Interweb.

Like those drunk driver interlocks on cars.

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I am in awe of everything to do with this whole thing.

The incredible teams of intellects that have come together to accomplish this gives one hope for the future of the human race.

Especially so since it has happened in parallel to the right wing political insanity currently cursing the U.S.

I wonder how many elk and/or red hats and/or antivaxxers are involved with the Webb project?

My guesstimate? zero. They'll all  be vaccinated Libtards.

 

And sorry for polluting GA but I felt it needed to be pointed out.

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1 hour ago, SloopJonB said:

I am in awe of everything to do with this whole thing.

The incredible teams of intellects that have come together to accomplish this gives one hope for the future of the human race.

Especially so since it has happened in parallel to the right wing political insanity currently cursing the U.S.

I wonder how many elk and/or red hats and/or antivaxxers are involved with the Webb project?

My guesstimate? zero. They'll all  be vaccinated Libtards.

 

And sorry for polluting GA but I felt it needed to be pointed out.

I agree with you on the brilliant scientists and engineers.

Not so much on the political crap.  I've worked with a wide range of amazing engineers, and even a few honest-to-god scientists.  You might be surprised if you saw the wide range of politics and philosophy among them.

Please, let's keep this thread friendly.

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I am continually stunned by the accomplishments of these people. I mean stunned. I cannot imagine. Makes me think I should have spent less time in sports and more time hanging with the geeks. Much Respect. 

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PB, me too...I always look back and wish I had done something cooler, and i am sorta a geek. I go sailing to give my brain a chance to slow down.

4 minutes ago, Point Break said:

I am continually stunned by the accomplishments of these people. I mean stunned. I cannot imagine. Makes me think I should have spent less time in sports and more time hanging with the geeks. Much Respect. 

 

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15 minutes ago, Point Break said:

I am continually stunned by the accomplishments of these people. I mean stunned. I cannot imagine. Makes me think I should have spent less time in sports and more time hanging with the geeks. Much Respect. 

I think anyone following this thread is stunned and amazed at their accomplishments. I’m fascinated! I also think (some) of us are at the age of looking back and perhaps thinking we could have done more. From what reading I’ve done, you are very accomplished in your own field. We’re all following our own path, all different. I have 2 brothers that were brilliant, worked for DOD, one in nuclear technology, the other in gods know what, but a physics geek in college. I always thought I must be an idiot, not being in a science career, but successful in my own field, while raising sons.

At the end of life, we’re not going to be thinking about careers and accomplishments, I think it all comes down to love. Did we treat people well? Were we kind? Did we have integrity? (If you’ve ever had a major illness, you’ve see this in action as people seem to come out of the woodwork! ). But always that thought, could I have done more…can I do more?

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10 hours ago, random. said:

Dunno, about it all.  I admire the achievement but ...

So much investment in something with no practical contribution to humanity.  Meanwhile this planet is going through a mass extinction and the collapse of the web of life.

I understand your point.  I would suggest these thing CAN co-occur. 

There are plenty of other areas I would like to see de-emphasized (zeroed out) and still others emphasized.

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On 2/4/2022 at 3:08 AM, random. said:

Dunno, about it all.  I admire the achievement but ...

So much investment in something with no practical contribution to humanity.  Meanwhile this planet is going through a mass extinction and the collapse of the web of life.

Perhaps consider the spin-off technologies.

Here is one: https://jwst.nasa.gov/content/about/innovations/wavefront.html

Some of humanity truly appreciates new ideas to correct short sightedness.

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17 minutes ago, random. said:

You missed the main point.

If the planet is not habitable for the majority of humanity, just a few people getting their eyes fixed hardly rates does it?

Maybe you have missed the main point.

The web of life on this planet will endure with or without humanity.

What will end inevitably is our star and planet.

We will need to look to the cosmos for a future.

Your dystopian dismal world view diminishes the value of curiosity, creativity and the exploration of new solutions to solve problems.

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8 minutes ago, random. said:

Wow, some ducking and weaving going on here.

First you want to fix defective eyesight, now you have written off the planet and all humanity!   That's quite a turn around.

Humans cannot survive beyond this exosphere, they don't do well outside the Van Allen belt, or even above 10,000 feet altitude.  Some DNA from earth could be used to seed another planet, but humans?  Nuh.  Even the Mars idea is so fucked up.  Trials have gone badly and we cannot even survive in remote locations here on Earth.

There is a fire in this space craft we are on, we should put that out first before helping others.

There is something Malthusian about you.

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36 minutes ago, random. said:

And it is clear that you do not have a well sorted view other than being a fan-boy of the James-Webb project.  You are the one that came back with totally different view.

I spent my working life in high technology, some pretty advanced, but, then climate change became real rather than a threat.

The James Webb project is stealing resources from the public and delivering it to private companies and corporations, many of whom are part of the Military Industrial Complex.

Nice work hey?

Have you met Malthus. He and you would get along great.

Resources ha!

Americans are spending $ 100 billion annually on pet food.

https://www.petfoodindustry.com/articles/10128-us-pet-food-sales-rose-10-in-2020-5-projected-for-2021

Not a fan boy in any respect just willing to celebrate what humanity can accomplish collectively.

Anyway arguing with trolls is tiresome.

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Randumb&dumber is just spouting the same backwards shit many people said during the Apollo program.

"We shouldn't be spending money on this until there are no more problems here on earth".

In other words, never do anything adventurous.

Tiresome, small minded people who think they are morally and intellectually superior.

But who are, in fact, just tiresome and small minded.

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I've always thought of space programs and other major scientific efforts as like a nation's hobbies.

We all have hobbies, boats and planes and sports cars when we could be spending that money on saving the starving babies in Africa but we all need something to amuse ourselves with, eh?

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6 minutes ago, Bus Driver said:

Well, THAT was unpleasant.

Hopefully, my friend will share an update and we can get back to discussing the JWST.  

Sorry. My bad. Note to self, don't engage with or feed the trolls.

My moment of enthusiasm for the life altering effects of vision correction afforded by these new technologies overcame me.

Won't let it happen again.

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17 hours ago, random. said:

And it is clear that you do not have a well sorted view other than being a fan-boy of the James-Webb project.  You are the one that came back with totally different view.

I spent my working life in high technology, some pretty advanced, but, then climate change became real rather than a threat.

The James Webb project is stealing resources from the public and delivering it to private companies and corporations, many of whom are part of the Military Industrial Complex.

Nice work hey?

I'm a huge fan of space and I think our government should subsidize the development of space technology, industry, exploration and discover. I don't have a problem with a portion of my taxes going to Webb.

... but, I kinda cringe at the amount of money these big space shots cost. When something starts adding up into the billions, it just seems like someone is sucking more than they really should out of making this thing. I get that it's a complex one-off, but billions, really? It would be nice if we could get this kind of thing moved into the private sector and away from government procurement. I'd like to keep funding at the same rate, but get more for our money. Obviously we have built a big bureaucracy and now we have to feed it or it complains to politicians from where the money is spent, but there aught to be a way to spend just as much and get more spacey stuff to play with.  

 

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1 hour ago, Wet Spreaders said:

When something starts adding up into the billions, it just seems like someone is sucking more than they really should out of making this thing. I get that it's a complex one-off, but billions, really? It would be nice if we could get this kind of thing moved into the private sector and away from government procurement.

I wonder about this.  I'm all for the private sector, but look at SpaceX.  Their model is high-volume and/or re-usable technology.  They aren't afraid to have stuff blow up during the development process because the individual pieces are relatively inexpensive so iteration is perhaps the most cost/time-efficient way to go.

Now look at the James Webb Telescope.  I don't have any cost numbers so this is all speculation, but the launch costs are not a big part of the overall cost, the money has to have gone into the development.  The mirror array alone is a first for a space-telescope.  I'm quite sure that much of the rest of the system is of necessity new, and required much study and design -- not a cookie-cutter or off-the-shelf problem.  There will be no economy of scale.  And it has to work the first time.

This type of system is not cheap, no matter who does it.  It isn't a "government procurement" problem, but a "design, build, and test one very complicated and challenging unit" problem.

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3 hours ago, Wet Spreaders said:

I'm a huge fan of space and I think our government should subsidize the development of space technology, industry, exploration and discover. I don't have a problem with a portion of my taxes going to Webb.

... but, I kinda cringe at the amount of money these big space shots cost. When something starts adding up into the billions, it just seems like someone is sucking more than they really should out of making this thing. I get that it's a complex one-off, but billions, really? It would be nice if we could get this kind of thing moved into the private sector and away from government procurement. I'd like to keep funding at the same rate, but get more for our money. Obviously we have built a big bureaucracy and now we have to feed it or it complains to politicians from where the money is spent, but there aught to be a way to spend just as much and get more spacey stuff to play with.  

 

 

The exploration of space hasn't become any cheaper the entire business suffers from "feature creep." Once we can build a telescope in space that can read the numbers off a license plate, then we need a telescope that can read the name off of a cigarette. Once we have a little lander on Mars, then we need a lander that can drive around, then fly around.

But you know what didn't get more expensive? The Moon. A human went there, walked around, a few more people did it to put a hat on a hat, and then we didn't need to go there anymore. Most of this space exploration is going to continue to take a lot of money because we are unfortunately bound by the limitations of rockets. Rockets are an incredibly inefficient and relatively slow way of moving around space. They are so slow and so inefficient that it makes no sense to send humans around in them unless they are just going to a space station or to the Moon. 

It would be much better if a bold explorer could jump aboard a Space Force 7 branded line of family-fun and family-safe space-boats and then take a quick run to a nearby star, have a look around, eat some Space Sticks and Pop-Tarts and Kool-Aid with the kids, maybe mom and dad give each other a little toast with some of the non-alcoholic sparkling apple cider since the kids are looking, with full knowledge that when they get home tonight, he will take his longtime wife to a 'gasm further than any earth-like planet orbiting a binary-star system.

The point is, rockets suck. We need to stop spending so much money on all this feature creep and build some family-fun, family-friendly boats powered by Weak Force Jets to whip ourselves around the universe.

This telescope ... I think it should be the last one for a while. Our priority needs to be to find a replacement for rockets.

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13 minutes ago, mikewof said:

The point is, rockets suck. We need to stop spending so much money on all this feature creep and build some family-fun, family-friendly boats powered by Weak Force Jets to whip ourselves around the universe.

This telescope ... I think it should be the last one for a while. Our priority needs to be to find a replacement for rockets.

Mike, are you feeling OK?  I'm concerned, because you seem pretty, shall we say, confused here.

So we stop all remote sensing progress until someone invents Weak Force Jets?  Or is that merely technology from the suppressed N. Tesla files?  You know, a cheap Warp drive would be nice, too.

Why stop there?  Perhaps we should listen to Random and just skip all this Expensive Space Stuff until we fix the big problems on Terra?

Or did I misunderstand your post?

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59 minutes ago, valis said:

Mike, are you feeling OK?  I'm concerned, because you seem pretty, shall we say, confused here.

So we stop all remote sensing progress until someone invents Weak Force Jets?  Or is that merely technology from the suppressed N. Tesla files?  You know, a cheap Warp drive would be nice, too.

Why stop there?  Perhaps we should listen to Random and just skip all this Expensive Space Stuff until we fix the big problems on Terra?

Or did I misunderstand your post?

Am I confused? Maybe. But increasingly, our efforts of exploring space has fallen to robots. Humans don't go into space because we can't effectively GO anywhere other than a space station of some kind or maybe the Moon. Hell, even Mars is essentially out of the reach of humans unless we make it one-way trip.

Remote sensing ... what else do we need? Is the current resolution of SPOT and Landsat insufficient? Do we need wider spectral scans? I apologize that I don't read Random's stuff too often unless I need to brush up on the use of nanothermite, but I wonder if we even CAN solve major problems on Earth at this point without putting humans into space.

The reality is that regular people don't seem all that excited by this stuff. We got humans in our NASCARs, we need humans in our space boats. Exploration is a human activity. We don't send humans to the Moon anymore because we already did that. We don't buy samples of Martian soil in the gift shop because we can't. We don't get to see close-up images of other planets and maybe even other environments because we can't.

And why can't we? Because we still use rockets. We currently explore space with an 800 year old technology, invented by the Chinese to repel invaders from their borders.

And how do we deal with this? We create realistic science fiction to the point that people believe things like "warp drive" is close enough to real that universities can dig up a few bucks to fund string theorists to allow themselves to be interviewed and dream about ways that boats will be powered through space at some point inthefuture.com to their local friendly podcaster. Even Elon Musk is about as disruptive in this space as 1985 Chevy Chevette.

We have the basic understanding of Mother Nature to make advanced methods of space propulsion. But we don't have the funding or the desire because without a human to ride it, most people tend to see it as not too relevant to their own lives.

When we get to the point where humans can ride in meaningful speeds, like say a tenth of the speed of light, then we can look into how Relativity will play into all this. Obviously, we will not get funding to send some brave astronaut to the nearest solar system if we don't see his Black ass back on Earth for some Lorentz-contracted time, where he comes back a few years older and we're all dead and gone. But maybe there is a way around it, maybe it doesn't apply to mass that obeys Fermi-Dirac Statistics? We do have to try though. As it stands, it's as if we've given up on the dream of sending humans into the stars.

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1 hour ago, mikewof said:

[...]

And why can't we? Because we still use rockets. We currently explore space with an 800 year old technology, invented by the Chinese to repel invaders from their borders.

And how do we deal with this? We create realistic science fiction to the point that people believe things like "warp drive" is close enough to real that universities can dig up a few bucks to fund string theorists to allow themselves to be interviewed and dream about ways that boats will be powered through space at some point inthefuture.com to their local friendly podcaster. Even Elon Musk is about as disruptive in this space as 1985 Chevy Chevette.

We have the basic understanding of Mother Nature to make advanced methods of space propulsion. But we don't have the funding or the desire because without a human to ride it, most people tend to see it as not too relevant to their own lives.

When we get to the point where humans can ride in meaningful speeds, like say a tenth of the speed of light, then we can look into how Relativity will play into all this. Obviously, we will not get funding to send some brave astronaut to the nearest solar system if we don't see his Black ass back on Earth for some Lorentz-contracted time, where he comes back a few years older and we're all dead and gone. But maybe there is a way around it, maybe it doesn't apply to mass that obeys Fermi-Dirac Statistics? We do have to try though. As it stands, it's as if we've given up on the dream of sending humans into the stars.

There are some breakthroughs that just can't be bought with mere money and effort.  Yes, money and effort are necessary, but they're not sufficient.  I doubt that a "Manhattan Project" will bring us advanced drive technologies -- we need the physics first.  I hope we get there, but slowing down the rest of the space program, or disparaging the incremental but significant advances such as what SpaceX has accomplished isn't going to help.  

And what's with that "Black ass back on Earth" thing about?  This isn't the "Equity Tokenism" thread, is it?  Strange comment.

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56 minutes ago, valis said:

There are some breakthroughs that just can't be bought with mere money and effort.  Yes, money and effort are necessary, but they're not sufficient.  I doubt that a "Manhattan Project" will bring us advanced drive technologies -- we need the physics first.  I hope we get there, but slowing down the rest of the space program, or disparaging the incremental but significant advances such as what SpaceX has accomplished isn't going to help.  

And what's with that "Black ass back on Earth" thing about?  This isn't the "Equity Tokenism" thread, is it?  Strange comment.

Yeah, we need the physics first, but physicists are like any other employees; they need a paycheck, a coffee machine, sometimes they even need some health benefits and a place to park the beat up Hyundai Accent that they drive to work. We aren't going to get that basic research without funding it. And we currently don't fund it in any but the tiniest ways.

We can't buy that breakthrough with money and effort, but we at least need to start by employing the kind of people who can figure it out. A shocking number of them are not actually employed to do this work. The riddle is what did the physicist say to the engineer? "Would you like fries with that?"

As for "black ass" it's another old joke. It goes that the first astronaut to go close to the speed of light will definitely be a black guy so they can blame him for not showing up to work as his space boat moves through the Lorentz contraction.

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13 minutes ago, mikewof said:

We can't buy that breakthrough with money and effort, but we at least need to start by employing the kind of people who can figure it out. A shocking number of them are not actually employed to do this work. The riddle is what did the physicist say to the engineer? "Would you like fries with that?"

I remember being about two years into a physics degree when my advisor gently let me know it was a likely dead end by telling me that more Physics PhDs were delivering the US mail than practicing in the field.  No idea if it was true or not but it was soul crushing at the time.  Thank goodness some of my classes rolled over into mechanical engineering requirements.

Funding pure research versus applied research was a contentious topic even back then.  Fusion has been woefully underfunded for half a century.  To hope or expect that we'll get away from chemical rockets any time soon to something like the Epstein Drive is not realistic.

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15 minutes ago, RedTuna said:

I remember being about two years into a physics degree when my advisor gently let me know it was a likely dead end by telling me that more Physics PhDs were delivering the US mail than practicing in the field.  No idea if it was true or not but it was soul crushing at the time.  Thank goodness some of my classes rolled over into mechanical engineering requirements.

Funding pure research versus applied research was a contentious topic even back then.  Fusion has been woefully underfunded for half a century.  To hope or expect that we'll get away from chemical rockets any time soon to something like the Epstein Drive is not realistic.

You made the right move. Except now physicists can't get jobs anymore with the USPS.

It doesn't seem to me that energy is the problem with replacing rockets. We have plenty of ways to produce energy. The problem is that rockets have to expel the mass of the propellant in the momentum transfer to move the boat forward. We don't necessarily need methods of propulsion that are more energy efficient, we need methods of propulsion that are more mass efficient.

The Epstein Drive is -- to my knowledge -- science fiction. The science fact of space propulsion is most likely based on decades of work that we have already done in low-energy reactions. The goal is to use tiny bits of mass and give the boat a momentum transfer of a much larger mass. The only obvious way of doing that seems to be through learning how to couple into the weak force, potentially through some kind of Casimir lens that raises the effective reaction cross section.

In other words, part of the reason it is so cheap to run a jet is that the fuel is used to gather mass from around the engine, which is then accelerated out the back. The momentum of the air creates something of an equal-opposite reaction for the plane. But we don't have that luxury in the vacuum of space, so we have to couple into the weak force to then tune the neutrino flavor shifting and do momentum transfers off of some seed mass that we bring with us, and then raise the reaction energy with the addition of neutrino oscillations and photons close to the ground state. Neutrinos aren't massless, their average mass is about half of an electron. And the flux density of neutrinos and photons in space is about half a billion per cubic meter.

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