The next generation space telescope

Image credit: NASA

A new step in observing deep space, the James Webb Space Telescope, will be deployed in 2014. It’s the next generation space telescope, but we need to get it right the first time, since there will be no opportunity to do a repair mission. Why? The telescope will be a million miles away from earth situated in a perfect spot to observe the deepest parts of the universe.If we are getting closer to unlocking the mysteries of deep space should we be communicating to possible life out in the universe? Steven Hawking thinks this might be a bad idea. Also, there are new ways to observe our sun on an on-going basis. The latest addition to this effort is the Solar Dynamic Observatory and the images are amazing. Don’t miss what’s in the spring sky and much more on this week’s SkyTalk.[audio: st20100503.mp3]And don’t miss 400 Years of the Telescope airing May 4th at 10 pm on WHYY-TV. Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson narrates this history of the telescope, which was invented in 1609 by Galileo. The documentary features incredible imagery captured by the Hubble Space Telescope, previews planned telescopes the size of stadiums, and includes interviews with leading astronomers and cosmologists.

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