NASA wants to train the James Webb Space Telescope on gas giants before searching for habitable worlds

The second is to do some great science so that astronomers and the public can see how powerful this observatory is.’ That all sounds lovely, but first NASA has to actually get the thing into space.

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When NASA finally sends its mega-powerful James Webb Space Telescope it will be the end of a long and troubled road, but it will also be the beginning of an extremely exciting time for astronomers. The telescope’s primary duty will be to sniff out exoplanets and learn more about them, potentially even detecting planets that would be suitable for human settlement after Earth.

But as NASA explains in a new blog post, learning how to properly harness the telescope’s power won’t be an overnight affair, and it’s going to need a bit of training before it can really flex its muscles. To help scientists get a handle on how the powerful instrument works they’re going to point it at larger targets first, like massive gas giant exoplanets.

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  • Publisher: BGR
  • Date: 2018-07-11T23:32:25+00:00
  • Author: Mike Wehner
  • Twitter: @BGR
  • Citation: Web link

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Many things are taking place:

Australia finally has a space agency –

Among OECD countries, only Australia and Iceland did not have a dedicated space agency. We were in a group that counted Luxembourg, Malta and Vatican City among its members.


Of course, having a space agency and launching rockets are two different things. At last count, 72 countries boasted a space agency; only 14 of them have the capacity to launch a rocket.

Of those 14, four have the capability to send humans into space, and just three can potentially land something on the moon.

That means there’s a stark reality waiting there for anyone who wants to take a rational view on what it means to have an Australian Space Agency in practical terms. Which is: sorry Aussie kids, you won’t be rumbling out to the back of Woomera in the back of a space truck and piling into rockets for a trip to Mars any time soon. If ever.

(S:) #1531358925