It’s been a very exciting week! In case you aren’t aware, we (humans) have sent a new telescope out into space. Unlike Hubble, it’s tuned to see infra-red with the goal of collecting the red-shifted light just getting to us from the earliest galaxies and stars.
This one won’t orbit the Earth, instead it will orbit the Sun along with the Earth. It will sit at a spot called the “L2”, where the gravitational effect of both the Sun and Earth are equal on the satellite. This is the first object we’ve ever tried to install into a Lagrange point! Also, it amazes me that someone discovered and calculated these points in 1772 👀
It’s a pretty stressful situation. First, the launch had to go well (which it did). Then, the separation has to go well (which it did). Now, as it travels a million miles to the L2, it will slowly start to expand and unfold. If anything goes wrong, then they’ll try to rotate and shake it and things remotely, but it’s not an option to send anyone over to it for repairs 😬
It’s so exciting to see a what we can do if we work together, if we put our money toward a goal, and if we stick with something even if it is difficult and takes a long time.
Watch this awesomely cringe video that explains a lot and is just very enjoyable to watch:
Or the best, short video I’ve found is this one:
Some things take time
I have this poster hanging in my home:
I’ve been thinking about it more and more as I learn more about the JWST and what it took to build and deploy it. It’s amazing and inspiring to me to see the effort everyone put into JWST succeed.