Seasons greetings

Just a quick post to wish everyone seasons greetings. For those who celebrate Christmas, I hope you have a really enjoyable, and festive, day tomorrow (or, today, in some parts of the world). For those who have some spare time tomorrow, you might want to watch the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), scheduled for 12:20pm UT. You can watch it live here. There’s also a site that illustrates how it’s going to be deployed.

In case you don’t know, this is the most expensive, and sophisticated, space observatory every launched by humankind. Consequently, tomorrow is likely to be a fairly nerve-wracking day for most astronomers. Let’s hope it’s a good one.

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14 Responses to Seasons greetings

  1. And Seasons Greetings to you, Ken, and all your commenters!

  2. Thanks, John, and to you too. Sorry we didn’t ever get around to answering your question during the live chat. I think Steve still hasn’t quite worked out how to get all the comments to appear 🙂

  3. dikranmarsupial says:

    Merry Christmas/seasons greetings and a happy new year to all.

    Fingers crossed for the JWST!

  4. Ben McMillan says:

    Yep, been a long time since Cluster, and the bugs in Ariane 5 seem to be pretty well ironed out now, sure it will be fine!

    Seasons greetings to all…

  5. Maybe this new piece of hardware in the sky (HITS) will be able to resolve the CO2 question once and for all: does CO2 in atmosphere cause warming? Even at only 400 ppm in atmospheric concentration? I keep hearing that this may not be settled to everyone’s liking yet. Go, JWST! Check that stuff out and then call home.

    Holidays? Enjoy!

    Mike

  6. Brandon Gates says:

    Happy Holidays, AT, wishing you and yours all the best … and fingers crossed for JWST!

  7. Magma says:

    A happy holiday season to all, and especially to everyone on the JWST teams who will probably be sleeping restlessly — if at all — tonight.

    As a non-astronomer but big fan of Hubble imagery, especially near-real-color images of nearby galaxies and objects within our own, I was briefly disappointed when I first learned the Webb telescope was going to focus on the near to far infrared. Then I had the “oh, right – redshift…” penny-dropping moment. I can’t wait to see what the first images will look like.

  8. russellseitz says:

    SBM, the Webb is bound for an orbit around the second Lagrange point designed to keep it in the Earth’s shadow, where it will get and stay seriously cold. Pointing optics tuned to operate at 40 K Earthward , let alone sunward, would be an invitation to disaster, as all you need to do to turn the 6.5 meter mirror into a dandy 45 kilowatt solar furnace is add sunlight. Even imaging the dark side of the earth would heat things up considerably

    Smaller earth imaging optics don’t pose as great a problem, and sun occulting coronagraphs have been proposed as a workaround for future systems as big as the ebb:

    https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1086/503322

  9. right, but on the way up maybe it can sort out the atmospheric question regarding CO2 and warming? or send along some cool rayban shades so it can look around and be stylin’

  10. russellseitz says:

    Donors of liberality and taste may send funds to Mnestheus@paypal.com to kickstart feasibility studies for the O.L.O.C.C.

    The Outlandishly Large Orbiting Corner Cube , a set of three orthogonal 100 meter squares of mirror bright gold Kapton stretched flat between extensible carbon fiber booms, will be placed in a geostationary orbit. Those curious about atmospheric spectroscopy can aim at the OLOCC, which being a retroreflector , will send their diagnostic beams straight back whence they came, at fraction of the cost in money and suspense of the Webb Telescope.

  11. TYSON MCGUFFIN says:

    Merry Christmas and Feliz Navidad from South Texas, USA.

  12. TYSON MCGUFFIN says:

    December 25 – The Day that Would Change the World

  13. Seasons Greetings, Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

    Oh and thanks for the JWSI launch and deployment links.

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