Humanity has never seen anything like this.  Biden shows first photo from James Webb telescope

Humanity has never seen anything like this. Biden shows first photo from James Webb telescope

At midnight July 12 in Kyiv American President Joe Biden will publish the first full-fledged photo from the orbital infrared James Webb Observatory – the largest and most expensive space telescope in history. The event dedicated to this will be held at the White House, where NASA Director Bill Nelson will also speak.

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The first images from the observatory have already been uploaded to the NASA photobank, but access to them is blocked until they are released to the public. They will appear here.

Webb’s mission is to complement and unprecedentedly expand on the discoveries of the Hubble predecessor telescope, which has been in orbit for more than 30 years. Astronomers hope that thanks to it they will be able to learn about the early history of the universe: from the first million years after the Big Bang to the end of the formation of the first stars and the beginning of the formation of galaxies.

NASA calls the telescope a “time machine” because of what it can see in deep infrared (wave range 0.6–28 µm) galaxies that appeared at the dawn of the Universe (13.5 billion years ago and more) and are unlikely to exist.

See photo: Mars rover Curiosity took an ultra-detailed panorama with bizarre rocks

Webb’s sensitivity, NASA says, would be enough to detect a bumblebee’s heat signature at a distance from the Earth to the Moon.

To eliminate thermal interference from the Sun, the telescope was placed in the Earth’s penumbra and additionally covered with a 21×14 m thermal screen.

Click on the diagram above to enlarge it

Despite such preparations and location in deep space, the instrument MIRI to operate in the mid-range infrared radiation, a temperature of only seven kelvins is needed. To do this, the device after natural cooling for several weeks has to be additionally cooled (!).

REFERENCE. Launched on December 25, 2021, the six-ton ​​Webb reached its destination after a month of travel at the Lagrange point L2 (the zone of gravitational “balance” in the Sun-Earth system) at a distance of 1.6 million km from the Earth. The area of ​​its collecting surface is ~25 m². In order for the faceted main mirror with a diameter of 6.5 m and a mass of ~700 kg to work as a single optic, each of its 18 segments must be aligned with an accuracy of approximately 1/10,000 of the thickness of a human hair. The segments are made of beryllium coated with a layer of gold 700 atoms thick. Where is Webb and what is the temperature of his tools, in near real time you can track here.

First full color images and spectroscopic data of scientific value to be published tomorrow at 17:30 Kyiv time from the NASA Space Flight Center. Goddard. Each picture will be published simultaneously with the stream in social networks and the archive of the agency.

Previously, NASA announced a list of objects already captured by the telescope: there are five. Given that visually the most “catchy” of the list is the Carina Nebula (NGC 3372), it can be predicted that a fragment of this particular object will show Biden.

Click on the diagram above to enlarge it

  • In addition to the main participants in the project – NASA ($8.8 billion invested), specialists from the European ($850 million) and Canadian Space Agencies ($165 million), and 17 countries in general, had a hand in creating the observatory.
  • The creators counted on at least five planned years of work, but the “jewelry” launch of Webb on the trajectory saved a lot of fuel on board the observatory, and now, as expected, its “life” has increased at least twice.
  • Forecasts after damage in May engineers try not to give one of the micrometeoroid segments.

See also: NASA astronaut reacted to the flags of Russian terrorists on the ISS

Yevgeny Pylypenko

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