JWST Mirrors

The 18 mirror segments of the James Webb Space Telescope are currently being slowly moved from their safely stowed positions at launch to their fully deployed positions. They move about a millimeter per day. You can watch the progress here.

If you are interested in delving into the history and development of these mirrors, NASA has a lengthy and very complete web site explaining with text, diagrams, and short videos. I found it well-worth reading. Follow this link.

Photo: NASA/Chris Gunn

Dial-a-Moon | 2022

What will the Moon look like on any date in 2022? What will it look like on your birthday? Find out at NASA Dial-a-Moon. An example of what you will see is pictured below for 16 January 2021. The 2022 dates will give a different phase of the Moon. Set dates and see views for readers in the northern hemisphere and for southern hemisphere by following either link. Enter any month and day to see a high definition image. You may leave the universal time (UT) hour at the default value. If you want to be more precise, your local-to-Universal time conversion can be done at this link. Or, type ‘universal time’ into Google. Go back to Dial-a-Moon to enter the UT.

After visiting Dial-a-Moon, scan down that web page for a wealth of additional information about the Moon’s motions and appearance. The images of Dial-a-Moon are made from those of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) in low altitude orbit around the Moon since 2009.

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Final 2021 Astro Photo

Twilight came clear and cold. The waning Moon and Mars were low in the southeast. I had to set the tripod in the middle of the street. No one was driving by at that hour. It will be overcast by noon. A winter storm warning is forecast for tomorrow with >6 inches of snow and lots of wind. Happy New Year.

James Webb Telescope Deployment

The James Webb Space Telescope was successfully launched on Christmas morning from Kourou, French Guiana. It is coasting toward the location called LaGrange Point L2 where it is to be stationed for its scientific mission. Details of the mission and the telescope are described in this post by fellow blogger Steve Hurley in Explaining Science.

Where us JWST located at this time? NASA has a convenient website to answer that question.

The next month will be busy for the scientists and engineers as they carry out the multiple steps needed to deploy all the necessary parts of the JWST to make it fully functional. A timeline is available giving step by step descriptions of the deployments. Visit that deployment timeline here. Notice on that site that event times and descriptions are given. Short video links are available showing the deployments.

Another video is available showing the entire process that is planned over the month following launch. It last less than 2 minutes and is included here. If you are interesting in greater detail, explore the timeline. This is the nominal timeline. It will be altered if difficulties arise that need to be addressed.