James Webb Space Telescope mirror inspection

James Webb Space Telescope mirror inspection

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Credit: EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY/NASA, C. Gunn/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: James Webb Space Telescope mirror inspection. Technicians inspecting and testing the 6.5-metre-diameter primary mirror of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). Made of beryllium, the mirror is covered with a microscopically thin layer of gold, optimizing the reflecting of infrared light. This is a test being performed prior to a simulated launch. After the telescope has experienced the simulated launch conditions, the test will be repeated to confirm that the optics will survive the launch intact. The JWST is an infrared telescope that is scheduled to be launched in 2018. By using infrared wavelengths, the JWST will be able to see through much of the dust that obscures visible light. It will also study dark matter, thought to form the majority of the matter in the universe. The JWST is scheduled for launch in October 2018. Photographed in November 2016.

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