Deep Astronomy

  • March 8, 2013

    Episode 1: Seeing Beyond: The James Webb Space Telescope

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    Astronomy changed on April 24th, 1990, with the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope. Perched high above the Earth's atmosphere, no other scientific instrument has had a greater impact on how we view our place in the universe.

    Hubble has given us unprecedented views of the cosmos: from detailed images of planets in our solar system to the most distant galaxies ever seen. For almost 25 years, the Hubble Space Telescope has provided the ultimate framework for understanding our universe.

    Now humanity is turning its attention to the next stage in our comprehension of all that is. The James Webb Space Telescope stands poised to penetrate the universe unlike any instrument that's come before.

    The largest space telescope ever conceived by humanity is being built now, and it promises to build on Hubble's foundation to provide unprecedented glimpses into the very beginning of the universe, the first stars ever to shine, and planets around other stars.

    With the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope, humanity embarks on a new voyage towards an understanding of not only the universe we live in, but of our place within it.

  • March 7, 2013

    Setting up the JWST Model @ SXSW

    No, I'm not moving so fast that I'm blueshifted. My white balance is off a bit on my camera. It was set up for recording indoors, but that's been fixed now! 

    That is why we run tests.

    Lots of people buzzing around getting set up for the NASA Experience at South by Southwest. Behind me is the model getting assembled, and I couldn't resist getting snarky.

    The model is set up right outside the tent (pictures of that later), and it sits beautifully on a hill with the Austin skyline behind it.

    Inside the tent is a huge visualization screen with a pixel resolution of 20 million by 10 million pixels. The 'viz wall' can be pushed to render scenes up to 60 million pixels.

    So, this is NOT your father's computer monitor.

    I'll post more on that in future posts, but wanted to get started letting you know that

    We're here, with gear, get used to it!