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Astronomy Beat is a monthly, on-line column written by “insiders” from the worlds of astronomy research and outreach.
Current issue: May 14, 2013:
Giving Birth to the James Webb Space Telescope: Part 2
by John Mather (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)
The ASP concludes its inside look at the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) with the second half of a two-part Astronomy Beat. In the previous issue (#110), John Mather described the early days of the Webb project, including budget constraints and the challenge of designing an observatory that was completely impossible to build with old technologies. Now that the instruments are mostly complete, John looks at what remains to do prior to (and after) launch.
As of early 2013, the Fine Guidance Sensor (FGS) and Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) have been delivered, and the Tunable Filter Imager (TFI) was reconfigured to become the Near-Infrared Imaging Slitless Spectrometer (NIRISS), which was delivered with the FGS to create the FGS/NIRISS package. The Near-Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec) was finished and passed its tests, but then tiny cracks were found in its optical bench.
Download the following sample Astronomy Beat columns FREE to see what the series is like.
The Discovery of Pluto
by Clyde Tombaugh
The Discovery of the First Gravitational Lenses
by Ray Weymann
Origins of the Drake Equation
by Frank Drake and Dava Sobel
Stargazing Centaurs: The Astronomy of Harry Potter
by Kristine Larsen
And the Sun Stood Still: Dramatizing Copernicus
by Dava Sobel
How to Catch a Moon or Two of Pluto
by Mark R. Showalter