Everyone hates engineering and loves science. So let’s talk about the James Webb Space Telescope, which cost us about $10 billion (enough to fund the U.S. and Ukrainian militaries for 3 days?) so far. What are your favorite videos explaining the Science? Here’s one that I like:
It contains some explanation of the instruments on board, but I’m still a little confused as to the rationale for looking at nearby objects in the infrared. Light from objects within our own galaxy, such as the Carina Nebula, shouldn’t be dramatically red-shifted. What will we learn about these objects via the JWST that we couldn’t have learned from Hubble?
Readers: What are some other must-watch videos?
- “James Webb image reignites calls to rename telescope amid links to LGBT abuses” (Guardian); I will never stop linking to this because I am filled with hate (not for our 2SLGBTQQIA+ brothers, sisters, and binary-resisters, but for naming a scientific instrument after a bureaucrat)
11 thoughts on “What are your favorite James Webb Space Telescope videos?”
Infrared objects are cooler than visual-spectrum objects.
Lions just find all JWST videos to be click bait spam. They all darken the hubble photos to make comparisons with hubble look more dramatic than they really are. The 1st photos are just crowd pleasers. The real comparison is how many photons in a blurry 5 pixel blob it can get. Blurry blobs don’t make headlines though. Maybe they can photograph fl*rida & look for signs of greenshifting. A photo of Earth from JWST would be a winner, but lions don’t think the government has enough imagination to do it.
You can’t take earth’s pics with Webb. It’s too close and too bright. They mentioned that they can take Jupiter pics only when it’s in a far point on orbit.
Not to mention that it’s at L2 point, so if you look at earth – you’re looking directly at sun
Also, there’s a bunch of stuff that’s transparent in infrared that’s opaque in visual (That’s one reason that the Hubble “comparison” images look different and not just sharper than the Webb images)
Because space colder than it darker? More info passes in infra-red? I viewed Mars in cheap 6 in telescope and with old3 inch ×1 infrared monocle, and monocle had better picture, all green.
because infrared is longer wavelength and passes through dust better.
After what I wrote the other day, venting my spleen, I really don’t want to kick the Webb Telescope too much. It’s a very cool instrument and I’m glad it works. In the scheme of things, I’m glad it’s working for them and the scientists and engineers who built it are having their day in the sun. Maybe it’s a waste of some money, but really that’s nothing in comparison to the worst ways this country blows money out of a firehose to produce absolutely nothing good.
I’m glad it worked right the first (and only) opportunity they had to put it there. I heard one of their people talking about the more than 100 critical failure points on the instrument where if any single one of them failed, the mission would entirely fail. Well, they dodged all the bullets, apparently, and that’s an achievement. I am sad that it’s named after an administrator, though. That stinks. It’s the engineers that built it. We should see a list of them, instead.
The first step in understanding our problem as a country is to realize that we no longer name our best instruments after the engineers and scientists who built them – but instead we name them after bureaucrats. The Scientific endeavor in this country has become a proxy for politics, just as Allan Bloom said it would.
We have failed. #Science is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of the political establishment. Feynman should be rolling over in his grave.
I really don’t want to be cynical because I know these people spend their entire productive lives and careers building these things, but:
They have nothing to do with anything on Earth.
Niggas still shoot each other to def over sneakahs and live stream it.
It ain’t curing cancer.
It’s beautiful engineering and a wonderful triumph in that sense but really, it has zero to do with life in our world. I can only be impressed in the most abstract sense. It’s all an escape mechanism, and there’s nothing from these images that will tell us the first thing about how to fix any of the problems we have here on the ground.
No matter how beautifully we try to photograph it, the universe is an almost unimaginably dark place that we can’t get to. When you watch someone die and think about the fact that they’re probably not going into the Heavens but rather into the Infinite Elsewhere of Eternal Nothingness, this stuff just seems like a sideshow we try to use to divert our attention from the really important things. You’ll wind up as a piece of dust somewhere, precisely imaged by a telescope. Wow is that hopeful. All my interest in this stuff has disappeared.
alex, I agree it is irrelevant to almost everything on Earth, but space is a realm that Man has not yet disrupted. We urgently need more understanding of the geologic and life processes on the planet, but are transfixed by the psychological and religious conflicts between tribes of humans. Let the space scientists and engineers toil on, there is no harm in it. (Unless they attract the attention of hostile nonhumans.)
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