Monday, October 3, 2016

The next generation



The Monday Speaker Series featured a presentation by Massimo Stiavelli, mission head of the James Webb Space Telescope. "Massimo Stiavelli is a world-renowned astrophysicist in the area of the high-redshift universe, which JWST is specifically designed to probe," according to the Space Telescope Science Institute.

Massimo detailed some of the areas where the Webb will be focused. Scheduled launch is October 218. A European Space AgencyAriane rocket will lift the telescope into a location about a million miles from Earth.  An appropriate U.S. rocket would not have been ready and tested in time for the planned liftoff. Although the Webb is bigger than Hubble, its mass is less because of developments in new materials and  systems.  The Webb telescope's mirror is 6.5 meters, almost three times the 2.5 meter mirror on the Hubble. The maximum size of the mirror was dictated by the launch vehicle's limit.  

Thanks again to Lockheed Martin for use of its auditorium.

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