Nasa unveils Hubble's successor

The US space agency Nasa has unveiled a model of a space telescope that scientists say will be able to see to the farthest reaches of the universe.

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is intended to replace the ageing Hubble telescope.

It will be larger than its predecessor, sit farther from Earth and have a giant mirror to enable it to see more.

Officials said the JWST - named after a former Nasa administrator - was on course for launch in June 2013.

The full-scale model is being displayed outside the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in the US capital, Washington DC.

It was recently shown off in Seattle at the American Astronomical Society meeting.

View: BBC News

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I would have thought that maybe spending more money on figuring out how we are actualy going to get to the places weve seen would have been a better idea than trying to find more places we cant go it is kinda like looking at a lollipop inside a jar ... You know you want it . But you just cant have it. :disappointed:

Has to be the gayest name ever for a iconic piece of hardware.. James Webb Space Telescope.. Hubble is just god! lol

My guess is people will just call it "The Webb" like the do with "The Hubble"

Heh, I guess you have to have a couple b's in your name to get a telescope named after you.

Hmm why are they launchign this when they're also workign on launchign the series of networked telescopes that will have far higher resolution that any single telescope, no matter how large the mirror is.

Because it's cheaper, faster and safer to fix/upgrade one telescope (add new spectrograph, camera, etc) than to do it on several telescopes.

Noxerus said,
What a spectacular waste of money, effort, energy and human beings.

Are you serious!!
You must be a troll. What would you rather them spend their time doing..... working on American Idol? Perhaps working at an advertising company? Or maybe trimming the hair on ornamental dogs?

Space (as in the areas *oustide* earth) is our future. Colonization of space is humankind's next great step. The more money put into space research, the better. It'll also mean that technologies used for space research can in some form, trickle down to the average consumer. Research drives innovation.

Don't be an ingorant ass.

On the contrary, studying the Universe helps us make true theories and helps us confirm or infirm them. It's no waste of money.

joeydoo said,
Are you serious!!
You must be a troll. What would you rather them spend their time doing..... working on American Idol? Perhaps working at an advertising company? Or maybe trimming the hair on ornamental dogs?

No. That would be a bigger waste of human beings, which diminishes the importance of the resources saved.

PsykX said,
On the contrary, studying the Universe helps us make true theories and helps us confirm or infirm them. It's no waste of money.

I agree. Thus, people who are qualified to do so should be studying the Universe. That is both for their own benefit, and for the benefit of their race. Right now, people who are not qualified to do that, are busy studying interstellar space.

friend got nice comment about this news "they should call it the BAB telescope ( Bigger And Better telescope )" lovely

You guys sound like the Hubble is a POS, it's produced some of the most amazing photographs ... ever. I can't wait to see what 20 years of new technology will produce though.

Awesome news. but the thing isn't launching for another 6 years...even IF it's on schedule I hope the pictures it captures are worth the wait.

Gah... they don't even say what's the limit of resolution... and I don't feel like calculating it this morning lol
Anybody has an idea? And compared to Hubble?

Anyway, I'm starting to be more and more interested in astronomy, this represents very good news to me

Are you looking for a number of mega pixels? I have no idea how many pixels will be on its CCD and how that compares to Hubble. When you talk about the resolving power of a telescope you are not talking about megapixels; you are talking about the quality of the optics. If it was possible to have a perfectly clear image (which it is not because glass is not perfect and our galaxy is full of dust which distorts light) and perfect optics then you could magnify the image infinitely.

Well Hubble's imaging has the power to see the equivalent of a firefly on the surface of the moon.
With some fancy maths, some one clever can probably work out the Mega pixels required for that. Have to work out the size of the moon compared to a firefly and how much space the moon takes in the field of view..... and so on....

joeydoo said,
Well Hubble's imaging has the power to see the equivalent of a firefly on the surface of the moon.

Uh, I'm pretty sure it doesn't.

No, it's not a number of pixels. I mistranslated the term from french to english, I believe it is the keen vision, because yes it is a number in arc seconds. The smallest the number is, the better the keen vision is, while the opposite works for megapixels more or less

Edit : Hmmm, strangely, I read that it is pretty much the same as Hubble, except that it's in the infrared...

No, it's not a number of pixels. I mistranslated the term from french to english, I believe it is the keen vision, because yes it is a number in arc seconds. The smallest the number is, the better the keen vision is, while the opposite works for megapixels more or less

I have no idea what you are saying, an arc second is used with parallax calculations; making the unit of measure known as a parsec (a little over 3 light years). This has nothing to do with imaging. Almost any telescope capable of capturing images has a CCD, and a CCD has pixels... Not sure how the Hubble works exactly, but it captures images somehow, and I can tell you one thing, it’s not using film :-)

Still, as I said before, the most important aspect of a telescope isn't the CCD, it is the optical quality. Hubble might only do 6 megapixels per objective (it has four objectives), but that is all you need if you have superb image quality. Like in the example of seeing a fly on the moon. I can take a picture of a fly with my digital camera, that isn’t hard. The hard part is having a lens capable of resolving that fly from such a great distance.