Indeed, nothing like this has ever been attempted in space before ensuring that we hold our breaths each time the JWTS embarks on the next steps of its six-month journey to fully transform into its final configuration and begin its science mission. Now, NASA is reporting that the telescope just successfully completed another step in its impressive transformation.
“With the successful extension of Webb’s second sunshield mid-boom, the observatory has passed another critical deployment milestone. Webb’s sunshield now resembles its full, kite-shaped form in space,” said NASA in a statement.
Researcher utilized SwRI-developed instrument on New Horizons to measure how much Lyman-alpha light the Milky Way.
The Milky Way is the galaxy that contains the Earth, and is named for its appearance from Earth. It is a barred spiral galaxy that contains an estimated 100–400 billion stars and has a diameter between 150,000 and 200,000 light-years.
But starting on December 31 comes the task that is among the most worrisome: unfolding the giant sunshield. The enormous sunshield is about 70 by 47 feet (21 by 14 meters) when deployed, or approximately the size of a tennis court.
If you ask a physicist like me to explain how the world works, my lazy answer might be: “It follows the Standard Model.”
The Standard Model explains the fundamental physics of how the universe works. It has endured over 50 trips around the sun despite experimental physicists constantly probing for cracks in the model’s foundations.
With few exceptions, it has stood up to this scrutiny, passing experimental test after experimental test with flying colors. But this wildly successful model has conceptual gaps that suggest there is a bit more to be learned about how the universe works.
This year, billionaire CEO Elon Musk reached several milestones across Tesla, SpaceX and Starlink. WSJ reporters Rebecca Elliott and Micah Maidenberg break down some of his biggest moments in 2021 and what’s to come in 2022. Illustration: Tom Grillo.
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