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Very little upside, lots of downside. It's colder out there, which means that keeping your IR sensors cool is a bit easier. The orbit is wider, so you get more parallax, but the orbit is slower, so you have to wait longer to get the results. The sun is smaller and dimmer, so the area of the sky that you have to avoid (as it is too close to the sun) is ...


7

In general, a spectrum can tell us about the composition of the source of the radiation, or of any substance between the source and the detector. Each material has its own fingerprint and spectroscopy allows us to decompose this in constituent parts. Shorter wavelengths will likely saturate NIRSpec, especially at lower resolutions Without having studied ...


7

The spectrum you show from Titan was taken using the IRIS spectrometer aboard Voyager 1. Of course Voyager 2 had one as well. A huge amount of work went into developing and optimizing the design in order to develop a precise optical instrument that would survive both the high g-force and vibrations of launch, and the years in a space environment while ...


4

They use a tool called a spectrograph. There are a number of ways to make these, one of the easiest to understand is a prism. That prism breaks the incoming light in to a large number of colors, which can be then scanned and have the intensity measured to detect such items. Really all that is involved is pointing a telescope at the planet with a ...


3

Pages 147-148 of The Cassini visual and infrared mapping spectrometer (VIMS) investigation (original), combined with this image being called a noodle, suggests what zigzag might mean: Instead of the usual procedure of aiming the instrument at one spot to accumulate a 64 pixel by 64 pixel by 352 spectel "data cube," its "along track spatial dimension" is ...


3

This is a preliminary answer, I believe a better answer can be posted, but this will hopefully get you started. Cassini's VIMS or Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer scans a slit across a camera's field of view. At each point in the scan, the 1D slit image is dispersed by a diffraction grating producing a 2D spectrogram which is recorded by either 2D ...


1

I don't see the down sides to be anywhere nearly as strong as @JamesK's answer suggests! Some space telescopes use several kW of power but one of them is 500 W and these are all circa 1 AU where power is plentiful so there was no need to lower it. In deep space if you really need to just collect CCD images in cold space and process them with processors ...


1

I think there are relevant techniques to learn here from the terrestrial remote sensing community. Observations in reflected, scattered and transmitted light have all their own difficulties, and those will surely be applicable to JWST observations as well. There is an open source book from the University of Heidelberg in Germany, see here, where probably ...


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