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Photo of James Webb Space Telescope Testing

 Stock Photo by NASA Public Domain

 Image Number: 0124-1009-1723-1005

Photo of James Webb Space Telescope Testing
James Webb Space Telescope Testing.

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  • Stock Photo Description: Photo of james Webb Space Telescope Testing. This is a photo by NASA Public Domain showing james Webb Space Telescope Testing.

    Recently, technicians at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., completed a series of cryogenic tests on six James Webb Space Telescope beryllium mirror segments at the center's X-ray & Cryogenic Facility. During testing, the mirrors were subjected to extreme temperatures dipping to -415 degrees Fahrenheit, permitting engineers to measure in extreme detail how the shape of the mirror changes as it cools.

    The Webb telescope has 18 mirrors, each of which will be tested twice in the Center's X-ray & Cryogenic Facility to ensure that the mirror will maintain its shape in a space environment -- once with bare polished beryllium and then again after a thin coating of gold is applied.

    The cryogenic test gauges how each mirror changes temperature and shape over a range of operational temperatures in space. This helps predict how well the telescope will image infrared sources.

    The mirrors are designed to stay cold to allow scientists to observe the infrared light they reflect using a telescope and instruments optimized to detect this light. Warm objects give off infrared light, or heat. If the Webb telescope mirror is too warm, the faint infrared light from distant galaxies may be lost in the infrared glow of the mirror itself. Thus, the Webb telescope's mirrors need to operate in a deep cold or cryogenic state, at around -379 degree Fahrenheit.

    Image Credit: NASA

    Image courtesy of NASA. NASA images are in the public domain and may be used for free, however certain restrictions may apply. This public domain image may not be used in any way suggesting approval or endorsement of any people appearing in the photos. Please read the NASA guidelines for use for more information and info about using the NASA insignia logo and other intellectual property that may appear in these NASA public domain images.

    Stock photography by NASA Public Domain

    Copyright: United States Government Works

    • Model Release: No

    • Property Release: No

    * This is a public domain image


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    4256 x 2832 Pixels - 36.2 MB
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    Photo of James Webb Space Telescope Testing



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