r/space 2h ago

Discussion All Space Questions thread for week of January 23, 2022


Please sort comments by 'new' to find questions that would otherwise be buried.

In this thread you can ask any space related question that you may have.

Two examples of potential questions could be; "How do rockets work?", or "How do the phases of the Moon work?"

If you see a space related question posted in another subreddit or in this subreddit, then please politely link them to this thread.

Ask away!

r/space 29d ago Silver Helpful Wholesome

Megathread James Webb Space Telescope Megathread - Deployment & Journey to Lagrange Point 2


This is the official r/space megathread for the deployment period of the James Webb Space Telescope. Now that deployment is complete, the rules for posting about Webb have been relaxed.

This megathread will run for the 29 day long deployment phase. Here's a link to the previous megathread, focused on the launch.


This morning, the joint NASA-ESA James Webb Space Telescope (J.W.S.T) had a perfect launch from French Guiana. Webb is a $10 billion behemoth, with a 6.5m wide primary mirror (compared to Hubble's 2.4m). Unlike Hubble, though, Webb is designed to study the universe in infrared light. And instead of going to low Earth orbit, Webb's on its way to L2 which is a point in space several times further away than the Moon is from Earth, all to shield the telescope's sensitive optics from the heat of the Sun, Moon and Earth. During this 29 day journey, the telescope will gradually unfold in a precise sequence of carefully planned deployments that must go exactly according to plan.

What will Webb find? Some key science goals are:

  • Image the very first stars and galaxies in the universe

  • Study the atmospheres of planets around other stars, looking for gases that may suggest the presence of life

  • Provide further insights into the nature of dark matter and dark energy

However, like any good scientific experiment, we don't really know what we might find!. Webb's first science targets can be found on this website.

Track Webb's progress HERE

Timeline of deployment events (Nominal event times, may shift)

L+00:00: Launch ✅

L+27 minutes: Seperatation from Ariane-5 ✅

L+33 minutes: Solar panel deployment ✅

L+12.5 hours: MCC-1a engine manoeuvre ✅

L+1 day: Gimbaled Antenna Assembly (GAA) deployment ✅

L+2 days: MCC-1b engine manoeuvre ✅

Sunshield deployment phase (Dec 28th - Jan 3rd)

L+3 days: Forward Sunshield Pallet deployment ✅

L+3 days: Aft Sunshield Pallet deployment ✅

L+4 days: Deployable Tower Assembly (DTA) deployment ✅

L+5 days: Aft Momentum Flap deployment ✅

L+5 days: Sunshield Covers Release deployment ✅

L+6 days: The Left/Port (+J2) Sunshield Boom deployment ✅

L+6 days: The Right/Starboard (-J2) Sunshield Boom deployment ✅

  • ⌛ 2 day delay to nominal deployment timeline

L+9 days: Sunshield Layer Tensioning ✅

L+10 days: Tensioning complete, sunshield fully deployed ✅

Secondary mirror deployment phase (Jan 5th)

L+11 days: Secondary Mirror Support Structure (SMSS) deployment ✅

L+12 days: Aft Deployed Instrument Radiator (ADIR) deployed ✅

Primary mirror deployment phase (Jan 7th - 8th)

L+13 days: Port Primary Mirror Wing deployment & latch ✅

L+14 days: Starboard Primary Mirror Wing deployment & latch ✅

L+14 days: Webb is fully deployed!!

L+29 days: MCC-2 engine manoeuvre (L2 Insertion Burn)

~L+200 days: First images released to the public

YouTube link to official NASA launch broadcast, no longer live

03/01/2022 Media teleconference call, no longer live - link & summary here

-> Track Webb's progress HERE 🚀 <-

r/space 6h ago Wholesome Take My Energy Wholesome Seal of Approval Silver Helpful

Milky Way and its meteors

Enable HLS to view with audio, or disable this notification


r/space 3h ago Wholesome Helpful

Timelapse of the Soyuz spacecraft docking with the International Space Station


r/space 3h ago Helpful

image/gif What should be the first words when we land on Mars.

Post image

r/space 6h ago Silver All-Seeing Upvote

Timelapse of extensive northern lights shot by French Astronaut Thomas Pesquet

Enable HLS to view with audio, or disable this notification


r/space 18h ago Silver Gold Helpful Wholesome All-Seeing Upvote Take My Energy Timeless Beauty Wholesome (Pro)

image/gif One of my most detailed images of the Cygnus region of our galaxy, shot in Colorado under extremely dark skies!

Post image

r/space 3h ago Silver

Four galaxies colliding and merging (N-body simulation)

Enable HLS to view with audio, or disable this notification


r/space 17h ago Silver Wholesome Starstruck

image/gif I captured the Atlas V Upper Stage Centaur Venting Propellant at 35,786 km away after its launch on Friday


r/space 8h ago Silver Rocket Like

A small watercolor serie I did of Saturn visited by the « Cassini-Huygens probe »

Thumbnail gallery

r/space 2h ago

Scientists Discover Black Hole That’s Creating Stars Instead of Devouring Them

Thumbnail futurism.com

r/space 4h ago

image/gif The Pleiades

Post image

r/space 32m ago

image/gif I made a little James Webb

Post image

r/space 1h ago

image/gif Not my photo, but it was beautiful enough to share.

Post image

r/space 18h ago Silver Wholesome

image/gif The first Full Moon of this year 2022 [OC]

Post image

r/space 5h ago

image/gif A Space X Rocket Launch Below Orion the Hunter | Composite/Panorama

Post image

r/space 1d ago Silver Helpful Wholesome

Not coming out of black hole Hubble Captures a Black Hole That is Forming Stars, Not Absorbing Them

Thumbnail petapixel.com

r/space 1h ago

image/gif "Ingenuity Looks West" (Mars)

Post image

r/space 4h ago

NASA upgrades its asteroid hazard software to use sunlight

Thumbnail space.com

r/space 18h ago

image/gif What gets left behind in the aftermath of a massive star's death explosion? This is the Vela supernova remnant - the shredded remains of a star that blew up over 11,000 years ago and left chaos in its wake. It's an image I captured over a few nights earlier this month from my backyard

Post image

r/space 18h ago Silver

Last week I got to visit and use my university's 80 year old 1.22m telescope at the Asiago Astrophysical Observatory in northern Italy

Thumbnail gallery

r/space 9h ago Silver To The Stars

image/gif Ariane5 VA256 launching from Kourou on Christmas Day 2021 with JWST on-board.Image Credit:ESA

Post image

r/space 4h ago

image/gif A Martian Sunset. Perseverance Rover acquired this photo. NASA, JPL-Caltech, Kevin M. Gill, ASU

Post image

r/space 41m ago

image/gif Orion's Belt Region in Gas and Dust

Post image

r/space 2h ago Helpful Silver

image/gif "The Reaper" (LDN 673, 684 Region) shot in LRGB

Post image

r/space 8h ago Silver

An actual photo of Mars (6. January 2022) [Mars Express VMC]

Thumbnail gallery

r/space 13h ago

image/gif "This image of Titan was taken from the Huygens probe as it descended to the surface of the huge moon. The probe successfully landed at about 11:30 UTC on January 14, 2005." NASA, ESA, Daniel Macháček

Post image