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Questions tagged [space-telescope]

A telescope placed in space, typically for the purpose of avoiding atmospheric distortion, background light, and attenuation of light by the atmosphere.

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How exactly does the JWST (James Webb Space Telescope) "see" light from so far away? [closed]

As commonly known, the James Webb Space Telescope (JSWT) has been sent to Lagrange point 2 (L2) to receive reports from the past of the universe, and it does this by measuring several factors such as ...
Aerospace_Nerd's user avatar
17 votes
2 answers
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HST can apparently operate in one-gyro mode, if need be. Why was the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory de-orbited when it lost one of its three gyros?

If HST has been reduced to 2 fully functioning gyros, I read that they plan to turn off one gyro and run in single-gyro mode to save the second functioning gyro. The Compton Gamma Ray Observatory had ...
Peter Milne's user avatar
19 votes
3 answers
5k views

Why is the aperture door of the Hubble Space Telescope so weirdly shaped?

Why is the door not rounder? I understand it's main purpose is to block sunlight from entering the telescope. Especially the right side (in the provided image) seems to waste material. But also the ...
felixmp's user avatar
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How much will NASA save by shutting down the Chandra X-Ray Observatory?

Dr Patrick Slane, director of the Chandra X-ray Center, has sent A Letter to the Chandra Community explaining that NASA plans to close down the Chandra project due to budget constraints. NASA say that:...
Dave Gremlin's user avatar
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If the largest spy satellites could take pictures, how detailed would they be?

This question is inspired by the NRO's Orion Satellites. These are surveillance satellites placed near geostationary altitude that measure radio emissions. Importantly, they have been described as the ...
A McKelvy's user avatar
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12 votes
3 answers
3k views

Would electrically powered thrusters on JWST have made it last for decades longer?

Since the lifespan of the James Webb Space Telescope is determined by the amount of fuel it can carry for its thrusters, used to decelerate the reaction wheels used to orient the telescope, and since ...
Ryan Christiansen's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
188 views

What is the advantage of optical astronomy over infrared astronomy in space telescopes?

The Habitable Worlds Observatory, the proposed successor to the James Webb has an identically sized 6.5 meter mirror but operates primarily in visible light. Infrared telescopes like Webb have the ...
Andykins 's user avatar
1 vote
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How redshifted galaxies will JWST be able to detect? [closed]

I see that the MIRI camera/spectrograph on JWST has an operational wavelength span between 5 and 28 micrometers. Now visible not redshifted light has wavelengths between 400 and 700 nanometers. If ...
Agerhell's user avatar
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Most accurate method to find exoplanets?

NASA has found thousands of exoplanets in space using their powerful telescopes. How exactly does NASA do so and what is the best method? I'm assuming that NASA uses some sort of sensor to detect ...
DialFrost's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
330 views

What was the first space telescope to produce a 2D image with recognisable features?

I recently learned about the Orbiting Astronomical Observatories (OAO) program, a series of four space telescopes, the first launched already in 1966. Only two made it to orbit and entered operational ...
Ludo's user avatar
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Interesting diffraction pattern on JWST composite false-color image released today (July 11) at Biden preview - how does this arise?

There was an earlier question on the diffraction pattern in the Mar 16 test image that was mainly explained by the hexagonal shape of the individual mirror segments. Today's image has similar ...
Roger Wood's user avatar
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13 votes
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What caused the JWST Instrument Radiator temperature to start cooling faster on day 34?

As shown on the temperature plots, the D-Instrument Radiator temperature was slowly dropping after sunshield deployment. Around day 34, however, the temperature started to decrease faster than before....
Nate Lowry's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
758 views

Why aren't off-axis reflector telescopes more popular for space telescopes? Have there ever been any?

It seems that: The light gathering capabilities would be slightly better without the blocked aperture (clear aperture is a premium for fairing-limited space telescopes) The diffraction patterns from ...
Alonda's user avatar
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1 answer
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When will the jwst python library have live data for the general public to work with in its data pipelines?

The Space Science Telescope Institute has put out a python library called JWST for science observations from James Webb Space Telescope. When will the general public be able to look at "live"...
user1068636's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
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What can/do astronauts look at with the portable telescopes aboard the ISS?

I would like to know what will be the visibility from the portable telescope aboard the International Space Station. What could they potentially view, and what are (at least some of) the things they ...
Prashant Akerkar's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
227 views

How does the James Webb Space Telescope take images with individual mirror segments?

It says here (and elsewhere) that during mirror alignment the James Webb Space Telescope will take $18$ “individual images” of a star, “one from each mirror segment”. I’m wondering how this is ...
joriki's user avatar
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Curvature of the JWST mirrors

The JWST has four mirrors. The large primary mirror made of 18 hexagonal mirrors The secondary mirror The fixed tertiary mirror The flat fine steering mirror I found very little information about ...
Uwe's user avatar
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12 votes
1 answer
715 views

Could JWST operate with failed or partial wing mirror deployment?

I have not found any information about contingencies for failed wing mirror deployment. Could JWST operate, and at least partially fulfill its scientific mission, with only the center core mirror, ...
M2FKXY's user avatar
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2 answers
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What will happen to JWST after its 10 year mission?

JWST launched recently. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Webb_Space_Telescope#Orbit JWST needs to use propellant to maintain its halo orbit around L2, which provides an upper limit to its designed ...
spraff's user avatar
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How will JWST see beginning of universe? [closed]

The light that is supposed to come from far away distance galaxy, that will reach James Webb Telescope, won't it have already passed earth? BBC puts out this explanation in this article. Won't the ...
Arun S R's user avatar
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For JWST's "29.5 days of terror" before orbital insertion, unfolding the sunshield is the scariest for me. When is this scheduled to happen?

At what date and time UTC is JWST's unfolding of its sunshield scheduled to begin? At what date and time UTC is confirmation of success expected if all goes smoothly?
uhoh's user avatar
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1 answer
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Are they already planning a successor to the JWST?

Hubble has been flying for 30+ years. JWST took 10 years to fund and build. But given its 10 year (if we're lucky) life expectancy, I assume its successor is already on a drawing board somewhere.
ourmandave's user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
975 views

How would a repair of the JWST proceed if it were ordered regardless of the cost and technical hurdles, depending on when/how it fails? [closed]

I have heard people speaking about how, unlike Hubble, the James Webb Space Telescope is "one of a kind", "not designed to be repaired", "not serviceable", and the like, ...
Grant Hartlage's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
233 views

Where is this "clusters of pearls" design for a solar gravitational lensing telescope discussed in detail? Who's developing this?

In What might the first deep space telescope using the Sun or Jupiter as a gravitational lens be like? I speculated that the detector for a gravitational lens telescope would be a big array of ...
uhoh's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
319 views

How can the proposed LUVOIR space telescope slew to different directions while keeping the sunshade in a fixed orientation? What compensates?

In this answer to Why does JWST have such a big Blind Spot? I mention that it moves as a rigid body; in order to change the direction the telescope is pointing the whole spacecraft slews, including ...
uhoh's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
218 views

How are JWST tanks baffled to dampen slosh?

After JWST slews to a new orientation, it then needs to “settle” sloshing fuel in the tanks before Fine Guidance System (FGS) can acquire the new science target. The time needed for slewing, settling ...
Woody's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
1k views

How would NASA confirm the James Webb Space Telescope is undamaged after the clamp release incident?

Would NASA point a space telescope at something far enough away in a clean room to confirm that the telescope is functioning correctly before launching it into space? Is there some optical technique ...
tomh's user avatar
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8 votes
3 answers
738 views

Is it possible to create a geostationary surveillance telescope?

Is it possible to create a telescope in geostationary orbit, with real-time video from any country or area? Some applications could be: Monitoring of burning and deforestation; Residential/industrial ...
theCrazySander's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
96 views

What will Taiwan's NSPO put in orbit around the Moon in 2025? How will it get there? What will it do?

The Taipei Times article NSPO head eyeing 80% autonomy of satellite industry says: Following the six-satellite Formosat-7/COSMIC-2 constellation’s launch in 2019, weather observation satellite Triton ...
uhoh's user avatar
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-6 votes
1 answer
206 views

International space station(ISS) viewed from planet earth [closed]

Is it possible to view International space station (ISS) using sophisticated Telescopes from planet earth?
Prashant Akerkar's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
79 views

Where can I read about the other 17 telescope proposals that NASA’s Astrophysics Explorers Program didn't accept in 2019?

Update: Per @DH's comment: Possibly nowhere, except for brief and oftentimes inscrutable summaries. The summaries have to be publicly releasable. Proposers often do their best to make the publicly ...
uhoh's user avatar
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4 votes
0 answers
39 views

Can Interferometery be Used to Shorten the Solar Gravitational Lens Focal

The solar gravitational lens's focal is around 550 AU which is very far. Can we send a few telescopes that will stop midway (let's assume 150 AU) to collect the light and work as interferometry?
Mohamed Abduljawad's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
361 views

Space telescope protective gear?

Is there any history of damage to space telescopes from meteoroids etc? If there is, would the James Webb be going up with any kit for detecting small bodies in near proximity (inside the L2 point) ...
calamus's user avatar
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4 votes
0 answers
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Telescope in a crater? How different are the bowl shapes?

When building large stationary single-dish radio telescopes, one of the constraints to location is that the landscape should already have approximately the right shape, cutting down on construction ...
SE - stop firing the good guys's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
54 views

What is NEOCam's (now NEO Surveyor) strategy for scanning the sky? Need to consider in which coordinate system?

In Survey Simulations of a New Near-Earth Asteroid Detection System it can be seen that Infrared astronomer Amy Mainzer gave the scanning strategy of the horizon in a paper, but I am very confused ...
Zhitong Yu's user avatar
7 votes
0 answers
195 views

Is the Hubble Space Telescope on its last legs, or "back to normal"?

Hubble was designed to accommodate regular servicing and equipment upgrades while in orbit. Instruments and limited life items were designed as orbital replacement units. Five servicing missions (SM 1,...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
2 votes
1 answer
110 views

What will (likely) be the first separately-orbiting coronagraph to be deployed in space?

Traditionally a coronagraph is something that blocks the bright disk of our Sun to make it easier to image the much dimmer corona. The first coronagraph is of course the Moon; during a solar eclipse ...
uhoh's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
124 views

Why was the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer decommissioned in 2012? Why wasn't it deployed another ~100 km higher where drag would have been a lot less?

The Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (1995-074A) was an incredibly prolific space telescope between 1996 and when it was decommissioned/deactivated on January 5, 2012. It reentered the atmosphere soon ...
uhoh's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
92 views

How will NEO Surveyor manage 82 gigabits/day of data? How will it process it, what fraction will be sent to Earth and how it compares to TESS & GAIA?

Wikipedia says says: NEO Surveyorformerly called Near-Earth Object Camera (NEOCam), then NEO Surveillance Mission, is a planned space-based infrared telescope designed to survey the Solar System for ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
4 votes
2 answers
230 views

What causes GAIA rotational axis to precess the way it does? How exactly is this accomplished?

The GAIA spacecraft rotates at 1 degree per minute about its axis, scanning two telescopes looking 106.5 degrees apart but imaging on the same focal plane around a circle every 6 hours. The rotation ...
uhoh's user avatar
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5 votes
3 answers
2k views

How do spacecraft reach Lagrange points?

As I understand, to reach a Lagrange point the spacecraft would need to slow down. Also, can spacecraft passing nearby Lagrange points get captured within the point?
Bruce Vici's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
53 views

Future plans and advances for improved extrasolar planet imaging; has anything changed since 2019?

I have seen What is the state of the art of exosolar planet imaging in 2019? but answers there simply address the types and quality of images. Here I'd like to ask about plans for future technology to ...
Outsider's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
97 views

Most realistic 2021 rendering of the milky way galaxy [closed]

Images of our own galaxy are either the "edge-on" inside view or artist renditions. However, we have mapped out 2% of the stars. Most stars are red dwarfs, so the more luminous stars will be ...
Kevin Kostlan's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
160 views

Are spacecraft star cameras ever used as scientific instruments for research?

There are quite a lot of spacecraft that have been up there a while and a lot of them have star cameras for attitude determination and for attitude control. Space telescopes (both heavenly and Earth-...
uhoh's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
193 views

Which spacecraft far from Earth have arc second resolution cameras that could measure Betelgeuse's position?

All hands on deck! We have to measure the distance to Betelgeuse ASAP because Recent headlines saying that Betelgeuse is much closer than we thought, and they point to Standing on the Shoulders of ...
uhoh's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
220 views

What's the status and timeline for Millimetron? (Russia's 10m Deployable Antenna cooled to 6 K Earth-Space VLBI)

Comments below an answer to How does NASA's ASTHROS stratospheric telescope compare to its James Webb space telescope? link to JPL's Paul F. Goldsmith's The Renaissance of High Resolution ...
uhoh's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
221 views

What "improvements in technology" allowed the primary mirror of RST (WFIRST) to be less than 1/4 the weight of Hubble's?

The recent NASA press release Primary Mirror for NASA’s Roman Space Telescope Completed states: While it’s the same size as the Hubble Space Telescope’s main mirror, it is less than one-fourth the ...
quinnkenri's user avatar
  • 1,140
7 votes
2 answers
510 views

What exactly gives a larger field of view to the donated "spy" telescopes that NASA may send to Mars? How much larger?

This answer to Could one of the interstellar probes discover Planet IX by accident? links to Space.com's NASA May Launch Donated Spy Satellite Telescope to Mars which says: An unexpected gift The two ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
1 vote
1 answer
300 views

How does JWSTs ISIM direct light into its detectors?

I came across this diagram in the JWST User documentation which explains how light is directed into the ISIM (Integrated Scientific Instrument Module): But the ISIM contains four detectors (MIRI, ...
Krish's user avatar
  • 255
4 votes
7 answers
4k views

Would it have been cheaper and/or faster to put a James Webb-like Space Telescope on a balloon instead of a rocket?

I've just noticed the following items: CNET: NASA to send stadium-size balloon skyward to study the cosmos JPL/NASA News: NASA Mission Will Study the Cosmos With a Stratospheric Balloon Even in 2020 ...
uhoh's user avatar
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