Author Topic: Anyone else excited/nervous about the upcoming James Webb Telescope launch?  (Read 33066 times)


littleman

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Pretty great stuff!

Hubble vs JWST

BoL

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BoL

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Another comparison page Compare Webb's Images to Hubble

ergophobe

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Wow. Those comparisons are stunning.

What surprised me the most is looking outside the main object at the dark sky and seeing how much of the "dark" sky is no longer dark.

I don't know anything about astronomy - are these never-before-seen objects, or objects seen with other telescopes (i.e. the best terrestrial scopes), just not the Hubble?

Also as I understand it, these are all "translations" - there's only a small amount of overlap - Hubble primarily sees in the 0.1-0.8 micron range (UV and visible) while Webb is primarily 0.6-25 microns (IR). So they really aren't "seeing" the same stuff and when NASA presents us with viewable, visible images, it's effectively some sort of artist's rendition of what shows up on the telescope.

https://www.jwst.nasa.gov/content/about/comparisonWebbVsHubble.html

That article has a cool graphic showing how far back in time they see. Hubble can see back to the end of the "toddler" galaxy period, while Webb sees to the very beginning of it and beyond to the formation of early stars.

That, by the way, is why Webb is in the near-IR. Because of red shift as the universe expands, the light from the oldest galaxies and early stars is in the near-IR range (another thing I just learned from that article)

It is staggering.

ergophobe

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JWST captures aftermath of galactic collision (Cartwheel Galaxy)

https://webbtelescope.org/contents/news-releases/2022/news-2022-039

ergophobe

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ergophobe

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ergophobe

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littleman

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Re: Anyone else excited/nervous about the upcoming James Webb Telescope launch?
« Reply #55 on: November 27, 2022, 12:31:23 AM »
That is incredible. 

>see life on other worlds

I know i is a long shot, but imagine if Webb grabbed an image of a planet with artificial lighting?  That would change everything.

Probably much more likely is evidence of simple life somewhere.   

BoL

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Re: Anyone else excited/nervous about the upcoming James Webb Telescope launch?
« Reply #56 on: November 27, 2022, 04:07:56 PM »
>artificial lighting

Reminds me of the film Contact. What a moment that would be.

>long shot

I think the theory is already there on it being entirely possible, a bunch of telescopes spread out across our orbit like the telescope arrays we have on Earth just now. By spreading out the telescopes over a wider distance there's more granularity in the signal due to the arc of the incoming light being more measurable. No idea on the maths and how much distance is needed vs how far we can see with it. AFAIK there's a bunch of extra data to be had for near enough stars simply by looking at them 6 months apart when we're on either side of the Sun.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2022, 04:11:17 PM by BoL »

Brad

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Re: Anyone else excited/nervous about the upcoming James Webb Telescope launch?
« Reply #57 on: November 27, 2022, 08:03:38 PM »
>artificial lighting

Heh, If we detect alien life it's likely to be advertising and spam full of alien affiliate links.

ergophobe

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Re: Anyone else excited/nervous about the upcoming James Webb Telescope launch?
« Reply #58 on: November 28, 2022, 06:48:37 PM »
Probably much more likely is evidence of simple life somewhere.

I wonder what signal that would be from a great distance. Especially what unambiguous signal.

If there are 5 planets with life and the JWST could see every planet in the galaxy, it still might take centuries(???) just to look at them all and find one of the other four.

littleman

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Re: Anyone else excited/nervous about the upcoming James Webb Telescope launch?
« Reply #59 on: November 28, 2022, 08:27:15 PM »
>I wonder what signal that would be from a great distance. Especially what unambiguous signal.

Unambiguous would be challenging, but we can detect gasses from a distance and if a planet has carbon dioxide,  methane and water it may have life.  If we could get detailed enough images to see evidence of plant like life, say the way our rain forests look from space, that would be a good indication.

Edit:
https://astrobiology.nasa.gov/news/detecting-lifes-influence-on-planetary-atmospheres/
« Last Edit: November 28, 2022, 08:28:53 PM by littleman »