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Epic James Webb Mirror Selfie Surfaces as Telescope Deploys Sunshield

At the time of writing, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is well on its way to the designated point in our solar system from where it should peer into the mysteries and the past of the Universe. It should take it about half a year to get there, and we expect the thing to be the talk of space exploration industry for the duration.
James Webb telescope mirror selfie 9 photos
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The most recent piece of news concerning the Webb is the successful deployment of the 70-foot sunshield. This piece of equipment is designed to protect the telescope “from the light and heat of the Sun, Earth, and Moon.”

Made of plastic sheets as thin as a human hair, the reflective hardware can bring down exposure from the Sun from “200 kilowatts of solar energy to a fraction of a watt,” keeping the Webb instruments at a constant temperature of under minus 380 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 229 degrees Celsius).

Up next for Webb, and slightly delayed from the original schedule, will be the deployment of the secondary mirror support structure and then unfolding of the primary mirror wings.

With all this Webb talk going on, a very unique photo of it surfaced online a couple of days ago, and it’s rapidly (re)-gaining traction. It shows the mirror of the Webb, still on the ground somewhere, and in it the many faces of the people who helped prep it for its trip into space.

As per the available info (hat tip Futurism), the selfie dates back to 2017, but it’s probably most relevant now, when the piece of hardware, the “world’s largest and most powerful space science telescope,” is finally getting ready to make history.

Webb will park itself at the second Lagrange point, one million miles (1.6 million km) away from our planet, and begin looking out into the Universe searching for the stars formed immediately after the Big Bang, signs of alien life, and many more exciting things.


 
 
 
 
 

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