The Most Subtle Mirror in the Universe



Hank summarizes the 5 good reasons why infrared telescopes were intended to be not possible to create, and then describes how a crew of experts and engineers overcame these road blocks to create the James Webb Space Telescope.

Many thanks to Scott Willoughby and the total crew at Northrop Grumman for the tour.

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A note re: gold from Dr. Amber Straughn of NASA – “Gold is not the only “reddish” elemental metallic (Copper is even a lot more reddish) and other metallic alloys are reddish or yellow (e.g., bronze, brass). The place is simply that gold is an exceptional reflector of ALL the wavelengths of light that Webb is made to see–from .6 microns out to 27 microns. Gold occurs to seem gold to us for the reason that it reflects blue light improperly, but this won’t issue for the reason that Webb won’t see light shorter than seen crimson. Silver is also an exceptional reflector of IR, but it can be not as excellent as gold at ALL the wavelengths that Webb will observe.”

And re: the mirror – although the person mirror segments have been done, the full-dimension mirror has not still been completely assembled and analyzed. And even though “sharpening a 6.5m constant mirror is incredibly challenging, it is not technically “not possible.” In actuality, a crew at REOSC in France and at the mirror lab at U of AZ have been casting and sharpening 8.4m optical major mirrors for decades now. But generating the mirror in segments, in addition to generating it deployable, tends to make sharpening the mirror an less complicated-to deal with course of action–essentially sharpening 18 modest mirrors vs. 1 huge 1, specially thinking of it is a mirror for an IR telescope working at cryogenic temperature and allows less complicated transportation through the sharpening and development course of action (it can be genuinely challenging, time-consuming and high-priced to go a monolithic 8.4m major–akin to transferring the entire Webb observatory).”


Post time: Sep-11-2016