January 16, 2022

Beyond Going Long

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In the photo, Slovaks have discovered a telescope traveling through space

They took advantage of short weather and publicly available NASA data.

The scientific community 25 years after the start of the project Witnessed the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). It is now on a month-long journey to its planned location, the so-called L2 Lagrange point, 1.5 million kilometers from Earth.

As the machine moves further and further away from its home planet, it gradually switches to its working configuration – it expels individual components and prepares for a phase of several months of testing.

But until it comes to science, the $10 billion telescope is a temporary attraction for star photographers. They are trying to find binoculars in the sky and immortalize them.

The Czech-Slovak trio, who captured the scientific apparatus in a unique photo (below) about the distance from the moon, also managed to do this. pointed out Astronomical Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.

The small line featured in the image captures the telescope’s path at 1-hour intervals.

Source: Zdeněk Bardon, Miroslav Grnja, Pavol Rapavý

How did you grow up?

Slovakian Miroslav Grenia from Bratislava came up with the idea to take a picture of the night sky and look for Weba on it. He approached Czech astrophotographer Zdenek Bardon, who has a private observatory in the eastern Bohemian village of Rasusky.

“On the night of Monday to Tuesday, the sky was clear for some time, so I tried the impossible. In addition, the as yet undisassembled JWST telescope was located at a distance from the moon, so it was also the last chance to catch it,” the Bardon Astronomical Institute reported.

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But how to find a small dot among billions of others? “We were helped by Pavol Rabavo of the observatory at Rimavska Sobota, who obtained orthographic classifications of the JWST position from NASA public sources. Ultimately we found it as a short line in a constellation of stars,” said Miroslav Gernia.

“We’ve had access to publicly available NASA parameters, the coordinates and the clarity of the object are consistent with them, and 99.9% sure is really JWST,” Bardon adds.

At the time the image was taken, the space telescope was in the constellation Orion. Grnja described objects in the image: “Barnard’s arc extends diagonally in the image, star cluster NGC 2112 open in the middle, M78 and NGC 2071 in the middle, various dark dust clouds.”

photo info

  • Teleskop: Takahashi – FSQ-106ED
  • Camera: ZWO ASI 6200 MC Pro
  • Composition: Takahashi M-200
  • Time: 27.-28. 12. 2021, 23.12 – 00.12 UT
  • Exposure: 6 x 600 sec
  • Venue: Rasošky, Czech Republic

Authors: Zdenek Bardon, Miroslav Gernia, Pavol Rafai