James Webb Telescope Images Carina Nebula in Super Detail and the Future Space Telescopes

NASA is sharing the James Webb Space Telescope images at this flickr account.

There are higher-resolution images of the Carina Nebula and some other known great astronomical views. It can also image individual stars in certain distant galaxies.

The James Webb space telescope had massive delays and cost overruns. It is good that it is finally up and doing its work.

The Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope (shortened as Roman or the Roman Space Telescope, and formerly the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope or WFIRST) is a NASA infrared space telescope currently in development and scheduled to launch no later than May 2027.

The Roman Space Telescope is based on an existing 2.4 m (7.9 ft) wide field of view primary mirror and will carry two scientific instruments. The Wide-Field Instrument (WFI) is a 300.8-megapixel multi-band visible and near-infrared camera, providing a sharpness of images comparable to that achieved by the Hubble Space Telescope over a 0.28 square degree field of view, 100 times larger than imaging cameras on the Hubble.

The Coronagraphic Instrument (CGI) is a high-contrast, small field of view camera and spectrometer covering visible and near-infrared wavelengths using novel starlight-suppression technology.

Roman objectives include a search for extra-solar planets using gravitational microlensing, and probing the expansion history of the Universe and the growth of cosmic structure, with the goal of measuring the effects of dark energy, the consistency of general relativity, and the curvature of spacetime.

There are larger and more powerful telescopes that will be sent after James Webb.

The Habitable Exoplanet Observatory, HabEx, one of four large strategic mission concepts being reviewed by the Astronomy and Astrophysics 2020 Decadal Survey, has been designed to discover and characterize habitable exoplanets and to be the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, performing observations in ultraviolet, visible, and near infrared spectra.

Origins Space Telescope (Origins) is a concept study for a far-infrared survey space telescope mission. In 2016, NASA began considering four different space telescopes for Large strategic science missions; they are the Habitable Exoplanet Imaging Mission (HabEx), Large Ultraviolet Optical Infrared Surveyor (LUVOIR), Origins Space Telescope (Origins), and Lynx X-ray Observatory. In 2019, the four teams turned in their final reports to the National Academy of Sciences, whose independent Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey report advises NASA on which mission should take top priority. If funded, Origins would launch in approximately 2035.

The Large Ultraviolet Optical Infrared Surveyor, commonly known as LUVOIR is a multi-wavelength space telescope concept being developed by NASA under the leadership of a Science and Technology Definition Team.

The LUVOIR Study Team has produced designs for two variants of LUVOIR: one with a 15.1 m diameter telescope mirror (LUVOIR-A) and one with an 8 m diameter mirror (LUVOIR-B). LUVOIR would be able to observe ultraviolet, visible, and near-infrared wavelengths of light. The Final Report on the 5-year LUVOIR mission concept study was publicly released on 26 August 2019. LUVOIR has a 2039 proposed launch date.

LUVOIR-A, previously known as the High Definition Space Telescope (HDST), would be composed of 36 mirror segments with an aperture of 15.1 metres (50 ft) in diameter, offering images up to 24 times sharper than the Hubble Space Telescope. LUVOIR-A would be large enough to find and study the dozens of Earthlike planets in our nearby neighborhood. It could resolve objects such as the nucleus of a small galaxy or a gas cloud on the way to collapsing into a star and planets.

Mass Produce Small 1 Meter Mirror Space Telescopes and Send to the Gravitational Lens Area

Solar Gravity Lens Telescope Concept Presentation By: Salva Turyshev (NASA JPL), Originally presented on September 30th, 2021.

SpaceX is mass-producing Starlink communication satellites for about $250,000 each. They have sent up 2400 and plan to deploy 40,000 communication satellites by about 2027.

If we mass-produce small telescopes and swing them around a close pass to the sun then they could reach Gravational lens areas around our sun. Gravitional lens use the gravity of the sun to bend light like a 800,000 mile across telescope. Small telescopes will become a billion times more powerful. We will be able to take million pixel images of exoplanets in other solar systems.

One meter space telescopes at the gravitational lens areas would be like having the power of 90-kilometer-wide telescopes here on Earth.

10 thoughts on “James Webb Telescope Images Carina Nebula in Super Detail and the Future Space Telescopes”

  1. “Gravitational lens use the gravity of the sun to bend light like a 800,000 mile across telescope. Small telescopes will become a billion times more powerful.”

    That sounds awesome…

    The focal point of a solar gravitational lens is 542 AU. That’s 49 billion miles or 81 billion kilometres, 3 light days. After over 40 years, the most distant space probe, Voyager 1, is not even a third of the way there (156 AU). And we’re going to launch thousands of these 1m telescopes and get them this far out within a human lifetime?

    • Extreme metamaterial ceramic solar sails survive a close pass of our sun to reach speeds of 60-70AU per year which is over 0.1% of light speed. Theis propel low mass spacecraft using a dive to extreme proximity to the sun (just 2-5 solar radii). This velocity is 20 times more than Voyager 1. The technology enables reaching Jupiter in 5 months, Neptune in 10, surpassing Voyager 1 in 2.5 years and getting to the solar gravity lens location in just 8.5 years.

      Metal sails that can survive a 5 solar radii pass of the sun would be able to go at 40AU per year. These systems could reach the solar gravity lens (600 AU) in about 15 years. Two-meter telescopes at the gravitational lens would be able to image megapixel resolution images of exoplanets.

      Artur Davoyan works with Turyshev. Turyshev has the NIAC study on gravitational lens missions. Turyshev has proposed launching telescopes to the solar gravitational lens starting in 2028. If the materials that are can handle more heat and do not absorb as much heat can be used for solar sails, then they could reach the lens in 2037-2043.

      Roccor LLC has a grant to develop 1000 to 10,000 square meter solar sails. They are developing composite trussed trac (T-Trac) boom systems. The original Trac will be flight validated on the upcoming near earth asteroid scout mission. T-TRAC has a triangular cross-section. Roccor holds an exclusive license for the Flexible Unfurlable and Refurlable Lightweight (FURL) solar sail developed and tested by the Air Force Research Laboratory.



      • The thing is, even once you reach the gravitational lensing distance, if you’re going to do any imaging you need either a lot of probes, or one probe with a LOT of lateral delta-V available. Given the magnification gravitational lensing produces, the image plane is quite large, a single telescope is only going to see one pixel at a time.

        Solar sails will get you out there, but won’t supply that lateral delta-v once you’re there. So then you’ve got TWO propulsion systems. What’s the second system going to be? Hard to see it not being at least nuclear/electric, you’re not powering anything with solar at that distance, and the chemical delta V would be kind of puny and heavy.

        My swallowed comment had to do with building large array telescopes using free flying mirror segments with ultra-precision station keeping. The advantages are many.

        • Exploring a target exoplanet or solar system would require minimal movement at the gravitational lens point. In the case of an Earth “twin” located 100 light-years away, its image will be contained entirely in a cylinder with a diameter of just 1.3 km, which extends along the focal line of the gravitational lens. Shifting 1 meter would be like moving 10 kilometers over that distant planet. 39-kilometer shift in telescope position at the lens area could let it find a moon if there was one at the same position as our own. We would need to use accurate motion tracking of the distant star and other more rough observation to know where to look for large objects in the other solar system. Brute for searching would be like a very large game of Battleship. The game of taking random shots and search patterns to find ships in the ocean. Yes, using large telescope arrays would be a part of telling the gravitational lens telescopes where to look.


  2. I’m with Brett.

    The Brian articles are OK…but what makes this place work is the commenting expertise.

    Brian, do as Brett suggests.

    • Honestly, I think he’s probably already blown it. Seen Goat Guy around lately?

      It’s just so demoralizing if you’re thinking of putting in some work on a substantive comment, to think about how many past comments you worked hard on got flushed. Over and over!

      Maybe if he locks down an acceptable comment system for long enough, things will recover with a new set of commenters? Might take years, though. A new generation.

  3. Besides there are good comment systems that are basically free. Disqus was OK and I have seen sites with good participation using it for decades already.

  4. So, let me see if I’ve got this straight: Under the new commenting system, if I don’t click that “Save my name” box, and try posting, my comment just disappears.

    If I do click it, my name is only saved for the duration of the session, even though I’ve got NBF unblocked from all my protective extensions.

    And if I include a link, I go straight to moderation limbo, and my comment probably just disappears forever.

    Geeze, Brian, one of the best things about this site was the commenting culture, people put real work into some of the comments. But you keep thrashing the commenting system, and periodically flushing all that work, and it’s getting *really* hard to be motivated to actually run any calculations, or find relevant links. I’m starting to actually lose interest in this site, because a lot of the value has just vanished.

    Yeah, not going to bother recreating the comment that just vanished.

    • I hear your frustration with the comments. If I could get the technical to recover all of the old comments I would do it. I was pissed off with the problems. But I have not been able to get the technical help to make the recovery. I still have the old files.

      I will look for any comments being held in the current system. A lot of spam to go through.


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