James Webb Telescope (13 Feb)

Bob Wright (Usk) gave an interesting talk on the JWST back in January.  In case you wanted a little more on the current situation I came across a video on the “Launch Pad Astronomy” channel on YouTube.

It’s entitled “How James Webb orbits nothing”.  It goes into the theory behind how the JWST can orbit an empty spot in space – just in case you ever wondered.  It also emphasises the task that is faced by the JW team and the number of variables that they have to take into account.
A couple of interesting points from the video are that the telescope elliptical orbit around L2 takes about 6 months and, it’s up to twice the size of the moon’s orbit around Earth (JW orbit 250,000 to 832,000 cf the Moon 360,000 to 400,000km).  The other point was that it isn’t actually orbiting L2 but a point slightly on the Earth side of L2.  Reasons are in the video.
You can access it at this  LINK .

Also, the “Where is Webb” website, HERE, explains how the first photons have been received of star (HD84406, some 260 l.yrs distant in Ursa Major) although, as the mirrors are not yet aligned, the picture isn’t much to look at.

James Webb Space Telescope is now successfully fully deployed

NASA, ESA and CSA (the Canadians) got the Christmas present they wanted, a successful launch of the James Webb ST. and now a successful deployment.


It is now on it’s way to the L2 Lagrange Point, some 1.5 million km (almost 1 million  miles) from the earth.
You can follow the telescopes progress on the NASA “Where is Webb” page <HERE>.

Will the James Webb ST finally make it into space?

James Webb Space Telescope

It’s December 2021 and the final moment in a saga, started in 1996, to build and launch a successor to the Hubble Space Telescope.  The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is due to be hoisted aloft by an Arian 5 rocket from French Guiana on the 22nd.  It will then take some 6 months to deploy before any science can be done.
It is a very complex engineering project and there are a host of things that can go wrong during its deployment, so fingers crossed.
JWST is an infra red telescope covering the wavelengths  0.6 to 28.3 µm, cf the visual range of 0.38 to 0.76 µm.  This will enable it to look back to the era of the origin of stars and galaxies.

The main objectives of the JWST mission are:-
1)  To investigate the light from the dawn of the universe some 13 billion years ago;
2)  To study the formation of the first galaxies;
3)  To look for the first generation stars and better understand the formation of stars and their planetary systems;
4)  To study planetary systems in the Milky Way and potentially analyse the atmospheres of and look for signs of life from these planets.

In order to protect the instrument from the Sun, earth and moon, to get its operating temperature as low as possible, and increase its sensitivity, it is being placed at the Lagrange L2 position, some 1 million miles away in line with the sun and earth, with a huge parasol to protect it.  If anything goes wrong then that is it, it cannot be serviced like the HST was!

Further information is at the following LINKs:  NASA, ESA and the Space Telescope Science Institute.
Quanta Magazine has also just published an article, at LINK, and there is a video at LINK.

Astro Photos

Following my email earlier this week I have had some photos sent to me.
I have included one from Tony P-F on the home page slide show and another of his, M42 the Orion nebula, has been loaded up on the Gallery/Deepsky photo page LINK

Any other photos for inclusion I am more than happy to receive. It would be nice to rotate members photos on the home page, a maximum of 4 photos can be used at any one time. Just email them to me.

Website Update

I have changed the theme and may continue to “tinker” with it for a while. So, please excuse me doing so on a live page. Any comments – good/bad/indifferent are welcome.
It is providing difficult (for me anyway!) to get the page menu displaying on the web page so I have used another theme to achieve that.
I’m not overly keen on this set up but it will do as a temporary option for the moment. What do you think?

AAS Website update : 20th Oct

Hi everyone. 
The website should be back up now.  There are still some adjustments need to be made, eg the “Page Tabs” are not showing.  However, the Home page is now accessible and the links in the emails should also be working.
Hopefully the other issues will be sorted out and full functionality will be resumed (fingers crossed!).
Any problems you become aware of just drop me a line.  Equally, if anyone has suggestions on how the web site could be improved please just let me know and I will investigate.  I am particularly interested in how it displays on smart phone screens as many people now use these for internet access.

Apologies for the downtime but I think I am getting there, albeit slowly.