Behind the Webb Podcast

  • May 21, 2014

    Episode 23: Star Catcher

    by Mary Estacion

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    Shownotes

    The James Webb Space Telescope will have four "cameras" at its disposal to explore the universe.  The Near-Infrared Camera, or NIRCAM, will focus its attention on distant galaxies and help us learn more about planets around other stars. But NIRCAM is unique. Its vision will also be used to help align the telescope, a critical step in making the observatory function properly.  Join "Behind the Webb" Host Mary Estacion as she visits the Lockheed Martin facility in Palo Alto, California to find out more about the making of NIRCAM.

  • February 3, 2014

    Episode 22: 100 Points of Light

    by Mary Estacion

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    Shownotes

    The Webb Telescope’s Near Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec) instrument will be used to study star formation and the chemical composition of young, distant galaxies. The instrument breaks near-infrared light into its components for closer examination and analysis. But what makes NIRSpec even more special is its 'multi-object' capability which enables it to look at as many as 100 objects at the same time.

  • December 9, 2013

    Episode 21: All Sewn Up

    by Mary Estacion

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    Shownotes

    The James Webb Space Telescope’s tennis court-sized sunshield is made of a special material called Kapton. But finding Kapton this size is impossible, so engineers must assemble pieces in order to make the sunshield the proper size. This episode of Behind the Webb shows us how the sunshield becomes the proper size and how it's being tested to ensure it will withstand the rigors of space.  (Please note: Some parts of the video are obscured due to the proprietary processes used to make the sunshield.)

    For more information, see the feature article from NASA.

    Learn why the sunshield is so important in "Keep it Cold."