Monday, March 11, 2013

JWST: a tennis-court-sized telescope

NASA is currently building the successor to the hubble space telescope.  it's 100 times more powerful than hubble, the size of a tennis court, and sits 4 stories tall.  it is called the james webb space telescope (JWST).

NASA is really stepping up this year with their visibility in the public forum and for that i say - well done!   they built a full-scale JWST model in downtown austin, texas this week as part of the infamous south by southwest (SXSW) festival.  sxsw is essentially three separate conventions, as is hosts a film festival, a music festival, and an "interactive" fesitval, which covers new technologies and digital creativity.

here is the beautiful JWST model all lit up in austin.

JWST model in austin, texas (Credit: NASA)
also, NASA earned a spot in the guiness book of world records during the event by holding the biggest outdoor astronomy lesson ever!  526 people joined Drs. Amber Straughn, Jason Kalirai, and Frank Summers to learn about how astronomers use light and color to study the universe.  

you can watch a video of the world record holding outdoor astronomy lesson: HERE.

i had no idea, but the previous world record was set in mexico in 2011.  so there you go.

here's a video of the building of the model JWST in austin's downtown:

i hope some of my friends in austin have been able to enjoy all this astronomy excitement amid the normal SXSW chaos!  :)

1 comment:

heroineworshipper said...

There have been just as many people trying to kill it as trying to fund it.