Search Menu
Photonics Media Photonics Buyers' Guide Photonics EDU Photonics Spectra BioPhotonics EuroPhotonics Industrial Photonics Photonics Showcase Photonics ProdSpec Photonics Handbook
More News
Email Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn Comments

JWST’s Giant Golden Mirror is Unveiled

Photonics Spectra
Jul 2016
As part of the integrating and testing of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), NASA engineers have unveiled the giant golden mirror of the IR telescope — it is heralded as the largest mirror yet sent into space.

The 18 mirrors that make up the primary mirror were individually protected with black covers when they were assembled on the telescope structure, and now, for the first time since the primary mirror was completed, the covers have been lifted.

James WebbEach mirror is made of strong, light beryllium, and each mirror segment is about the size of a coffee table and weighs approximately 20 kg. A very fine film of vaporized gold coats each segment to improve the mirror's reflection of IR light. The fully assembled mirror is larger than any rocket, so the two sides of it fold up. Behind each mirror are several motors so that the team to enable focusing in space.

JWST will be used to capture images and spectra of the first galaxies to appear in the early universe, over 13.5 billion years ago, as well as the full range of astronomical sources such as star-forming nebulae, exoplanets, and even moons and planets within Earth’s solar system.

The telescope is targeted to launch from French Guiana aboard an Ariane 5 rocket in 2018. The international project is led by NASA in partnership with the European and Canadian space agencies.

Photonics Media covered the arrival of the mirror segments back in 2013.

Research & TechnologyNASAGoddardopticsAmericasMarylandJWSTJames WebbaerospacemirrorsIR telescopeTech Pulse

Terms & Conditions Privacy Policy About Us Contact Us
back to top
Facebook Twitter Instagram LinkedIn YouTube RSS
©2018 Photonics Media, 100 West St., Pittsfield, MA, 01201 USA,

Photonics Media, Laurin Publishing
x Subscribe to Photonics Spectra magazine - FREE!
We use cookies to improve user experience and analyze our website traffic as stated in our Privacy Policy. By using this website, you agree to the use of cookies unless you have disabled them.