Precision? The Webb can detect heat generated by a bumblebee as far away as the Moon.
There is much information about the Universe that is invisible even to the Hubble Space Telescope—and that’s where NASA’s much hyped, two-decades-in-the-making, $8.8 billion-plus James Webb Telescope comes in. The Webb Telescope being built by NASA and its partners is a more direct successor to the Spitzer Telescope rather than the Hubble. In short, the Webb will open up a whole new world of infrared astronomy when it launches in 2018. The telescope will be able to capture images of the very first stars and galaxies, formed only 200 million years after the Big Bang.
The brilliant flash of an exploding star’s shockwave — what astronomers call the “shock breakout” — has been captured for the first time in visible light by NASA’s planet-hunter, the Kepler space telescope.
An international science team led by Peter Garnavich, an astrophysics professor at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, analyzed light captured by Kepler every 30 minutes over a three-year period from 500 distant galaxies, searching some 50 trillion stars. They were hunting for signs of massive stellar death explosions known as supernovae. Continue reading “NASA’s Kepler Catches Early Flash of an Exploding Star”